I posted a few weeks ago about my upstairs neighbor. The music has been toned down, but I didn't get any response to my invitation to do something together. After my trip to the peach orchard, I took a handful of fresh peaches up, but they weren't interested in peaches and I left feeling defeated.
Then, the other night when I arrived home late from the movies, I had three missed calls in quick succession on my cell from upstairs. As I arrived home wondering what might have prompted the calls, I found my doorknob had been greased. There's only one culprit I would even suspect and I found the same frustrated feeling rising in me again.
I left a voicemail that night for my neighbor (for him mom, really) just asking if there was anything the matter or something I could help with. I didn't catch up with her until the following morning when she explained her frustration at her son for calling me. "He's so bored," she went on to say, "but it doesn't excuse him from just calling you like that." He hadn't left a voicemail. I don't know if he was actually trying to reach me or just see if I was home, but in any case, I waved it away and didn't mention to her about my doorknob. I didn't want him in trouble.
I've spoken with his mom outside at 7:30 the past couple of mornings. She's on her way home from work and I'm on my way out to work. We've been talking about the new middle school down the road and whether Flash will be attending with her son. We've talked about the bus route (or lack thereof) and about her desire for her son to "start fresh" at the new middle school and not be around the "hoodlums" he's been hanging with at the old school.
I spent some time while babysitting the other day trying to brainstorm some ideas on what I could invite her son to do with me some evening that might be enticing to a 13 year old boy. You'd think I'd know that sort of answer, but he's a different sort of child than my own.
Tonight, my question was answered for me.
When I arrived home tonight, there was a book and a note outside my door. Without even looking at it, I knew it was from upstairs. His note was an apology, as it always is, and a thank you to Flash for lending him this book long ago. He asked if he might borrow another some time and asked if I would just knock or leave it outside his door.
I took Eli for a walk and thought about my options. when I came in, I opened the mail and had my answer. My Netflix movies had arrived. One of them I remember putting on my list, but hadn't realized I'd bumped up to the number one slot (so it got mailed now). It was a movie I had intended to watch with Flash when he arrived back home. It's a sci-fi action thriller rated PG-13. Perfect for a 13-year old boy...
I called upstairs and told my neighbor that he was more than welcome to come down and borrow any books of Flash's that he was interested in, I know Flash won't mind at all. And by the way, I was going to watch this movie tonight, did he have any interest?
He asked his mom and got permission and will be down in just a few minutes to join me.
I know it's just a movie. I know it's not a big deal. But somehow, it's one less bored night for this boy, and a night when I get to have company for a movie.
I see it as a win-win.