It’s that time of year when we start to hear the familiar whir-whir-whir of Logan’s battery-operated tractor. Lately, I’ll often find myself looking out the front window to see him cruising a wide circle between his yard and ours. He drives round and round the trees out front, and I understand from what his mom tells me, that he’s been busy chasing imaginary stray cats out of our Maple tree.
I worried last fall that Logan would grow up too much over the winter, during the long, cold months when we tend not to see much of our neighbors. I wondered if he would outgrow that sense of trust and excitement he had last summer whenever he’d catch sight of us. But spring arrived, and although Logan is taller and talking more, he’s still cute as a bug and full of wonder, and still thinks we’re some of the coolest people around.
Friday night, I wandered next door to hang out with Logan’s parents and a couple of other neighbors who were sitting around enjoying the beautiful weather. I chatted with the adults for a while, but eventually ended up blowing bubbles with Logan. He handed me his extra wand and we competed to blow the biggest and the most bubbles. Then he wanted me to blow all of the bubbles. He waited for them to land in the grass and then stomped on them, making himself giggle. The more bubbles I blew, the faster he stomped them, and the harder he laughed.
When he got bored with stomping on the bubbles, he began to chase them around as they floated in the air and tried catching them with his own bubble wand. Finally, we ended up in a “sword fight” with our wands. He was giggling so hard by then, he could barely catch his breath.
Afterwards, he asked his daddy if he would build a bonfire in the back yard. When his dad said that he would, Logan turned excitedly to me. Jumping up and down and swatting his thighs with his hands, he shouted, “Tee, you come-a bonfire?”
I had some things to do at home, but I promised Logan I’d come back for the bonfire if I could get my chores done before it got too late. I left him as he continued making the rounds with his invitations. “Jo, you come-a bonfire? Erbody come-a bonfire!”
We’ve been insanely busy here at home this weekend, tearing carpet out of the three upstairs bedrooms so the new carpet can be installed tomorrow. As I was working yesterday, I heard the high-pitched whirring of Logan’s wheels again and went to the front door to see if I could catch a moment with him. We’d found an old Fisher Price multi-tool in Jake’s closet while cleaning things out. Jake used to love pretending to build and fix things with it. I thought Logan might like to have it.
Just as soon as I could get to the front door, Logan had disappeared already. His dad was busy doing yard work on the side of their garage and I could see the tractor parked in their driveway, but no sign of Logan. No worries. I knew he’d be back around again soon enough.
I went back to working in the bedrooms. It was a beautiful day and all of the windows were wide open. It wasn’t long before I heard the hum again. This time I followed the sound to our back yard. I walked outside onto our deck and saw that Mark had opened up the big double gates so that Logan could drive in and out. I rested my elbows on the deck railing and looked down to see Mark strolling the yard with a shovel, and Logan wheeling around, pointing out spots of doggie doo for Mark to pick up.
I asked Logan if he was being Mark’s helper, and he responded in his little toddler voice, “Yeah.” But before he could say anything more, his attention turned to battling the barrage of kisses Lucy was laying on him. He hit the “gas” pedal to escape her wet, slobbery affection and was off once again to his own yard to help his dad. I never did manage to give him the toy tool I meant for him to have, but I’m sure I’ll have another chance again soon.