His brown eyes, that shock of slightly uncontrollable dark sandy-colored hair, his deep tan, the shy smile. He was irresistible.
He was an outdoorsman, favoring construction work with his yellow dump truck and fire-engine-red shovel in the newly excavated plot of land across the road from his house and catty-corner from mine.
His name was Teddy, and we were pretty much inseparable the year I was five. I’d rather play with Teddy than any of the girls on our street.
How I looked forward to our starting school together the next fall.
Then, in early January, Teddy had a birthday. I went to the party. And cried my heart out. Teddy was six and I was still five. That could mean only one thing. Six-year-olds went to school. Five-year-olds did not. Teddy would start school without me. I was sure of it.
I couldn’t bear it.
No, Mother assured me. No, Daddy agreed. No, certainly not, chimed in Teddy’s mom. She was older—even wore her hair in a bun. Surely, she could be believed. It was hard to understand their logic, but finally I was convinced. Teddy and I would begin our school journey together, they promised. We could continue walking down life’s path side by side.
And once again, all was right with the world.
(Post Script: Alas, our family moved out of state in late spring. Teddy and I did not start school together, after all. Life is so unpredictable!)