Rob has a new friend, a shadow of sorts, and an avid fisherman. He's eleven.
I'm dressed, but when I hear the knock on the door, I shrug a bra on under my t-shirt. "Hi J.T."
"Is your husband home?"
"Sure." I hide a smile and open the door. "Come on in."
When I head to the back room to write, the conversation swirls around sharks and night fishing, when I emerge, two hours later, J.T. is jumping up and down and reading off stats from the stock market.
Rob grins at me and turns to J.T. "Okay, what's the average?"
J.T. adds up the prices and rattles off a figure. "I'm right aren't I?"
"You sure are." Rob says and the two hi five.
I'm a little surprised the talk has turned from sharks to the stock market but what do I know about little boys? Nothing. But when the two decide to clean up the pond, I know pizza is in order. I return just as they finish working. Hawaiian for Rob and I, cheese for J.T.
"Got any Thousand Island dressing?"
"I'm sure I do." Amused, I stick my head in the fridge. Never mind that Rob and J.T aren't the same age or part of the same family. The two are soul brothers. J.T. shadows Rob for five hours, and turns down a offer to fish with his best friend, in the hopes that Rob will take him shark fishing, at night.
He'll have to settle for fishing in the morning, before the afternoon showers, before the lightning storms. It's one thing to entertain someone else's kid, it's quite another to turn him into a crispy critter.
"So what are you doing later?' He asks when I walk him towards the front door.
"Maybe a bike ride." I say.
"You ride bikes?' He's perplexed that old folks like us can still wheel around the neighborhood, but he's too polite to say what he thinks. "So," he shakes his head and looks up at Rob, "I'll wake up early and see you at seven?"
"If the weather's good." Says Rob waving him off.
Rob laughs. "He's not shy. I just hope he doesn't sleep through his alarm again."
"I bet you weren't shy either." I say, picturing Rob as a pre-teen.
He cocks his head. "You know, I remember a friend's mom asking what I'd like to drink with lunch and when I said tonic she gave me a funny look, smiled and said. 'I'll bet your parent's drink vodka tonics or maybe gin and tonics.' Thinking about it now, I realize they must have had a good laugh."
Kids, no matter how old they are, are pretty damned wonderful.