In this middle class town there are still kids who walk to and from school. Yeah, some have cars, and some still get rides from parents, but when you live near schools there are always kids, or “youths,” meandering around. Even the local high school gym class takes kids through the neighborhood working on their fitness.
But it was a bit of a surprise to Wendy as walked her dog early one hot, sunny September morning. The school year had just started, but it took her aback to see a kid coast past her on his bike and run it up to side of a suburban home. He grabbed a ladder out of the bushes and with a practiced air leaned it up against the house, climbed up and slithered through a half-opened window.
As Wendy circled the sidewalk to the front of the house she saw a man walking out the front door dressed for work. She smiled slightly and raised her hand in greeting but the man was too preoccupied with his Blackberry to see her. Wendy’s son was grown and on his own now, and she debated telling this man that a boy (presumably his son, but maybe not?) had just climbed though a second story window into his house, but something stopped her.
Maybe she remembered that sense of freedom from being a kid, and knowing that school meant schedule and routine. Clearly this kid knew he had to be home and clearly he’d come home like this before. She thought about her own son and all the things he had shared with her as he was growing up. Was he so open about sharing some things in an effort to keep some things from her as well? This wasn’t her child, and maybe there was a tattling sibling or mother waiting on the other side of the window — she would never know.
But maybe tomorrow morning she and Pogo would walk the same route again and watch for the boy on the bike.