Sunday, September 6, 2009
6 Kids, 6 Days - Part 3
"I really like my friends. Can they stay with us for 11 years?" Janie's eyes shine with possibility. Eleven years is so much less than forever. She's thinking I'll probably say, "Yes!"
Sunday we head for the park. Including the boys' chaperon, "Uncle" Chris, we are a party of nine. We walk through the wideness of green grass and tall oaks, pines, a footbridge, rushing river. I remember that morning weaving elbow-to-elbow through church. For a moment the mass of people had swallowed up Janie. And as I had turned to shout for her, a little black boy, quick as if released from a gun, had grasped her small hand and pulled her through the sea. To me. And for just a second, I saw the essence of being a man. I wanted to stare at that reflex to protect, the pool of safety that gathered at his feet. I wonder who taught these boys to be men. As we walk, each one is the epicenter of something extraordinary. And though we cut a wide path no one is beyond our reach.