A friend of mine who went to visit her family for the holiday, asked me to walk a little boy to school, a regular job she has. So for three days I showed up at Arthur’s house at 7:30 a.m. where I sat till 8 watching him eat, daydream and brush his teeth while his mother, before she left for work, barked orders…Ah-tha, do you have your homework? Ah-tha, bring your plate to the kitchen? Ah-tha, don’t forget ta lock the dua…
I still don’t quite understand why I had to be there that soon like I was watching the first act of a play, but gather is what’s expected when you’re being paid fifteen dollars cash for forty-five minutes of your time.
Arthur, who just turned ten, is the sweetest boy. A little chubby, glasses perched on his nose…a cowlick with a shirttail constantly hanging out. Took everything I had not to shove it back in, comb his hair and plunk him on a treadmill.
My maternal instincts, not to mention fashion sense, were awakened as if sirens went off.
He looks like a short accountant, or divorce lawyer, the kind with buttons that suddenly pop open like a Jack-in-the-box.
What I love most about him besides his good manners, is his lack of self-consciousness. He has no idea he could lose a few pounds.
His mother, a tad neurotic, texted me to check his new pants to make sure he had no tags hanging.
Being also a neurotic, just with more of a seersucker bent, texted back…we’re already in the school yard and don’t want to embarrass him among his friends.
Connecticut dies hard, even when it involves a little Jewish boy with his price tags allegedly flapping.
My friend, who asked me to help, said I shouldn’t hover, just to make sure he gets into school safely, on time. So as I hung back allowing the young man his space, I was touched when he waved at me before disappearing into the arms of one of the finest public schools New York has to offer.
AH-THA…have a nice day.