Ambling across the field, past the playground, I sought to escape the groggy pain of a headache in the pages of an adventure at sea.
But a small boy was intent upon keeping me on land. He momentarily stood by the swings, before running right at me with a determined face. Stopping at the other side of the fence, he said, “Do you want to come into the playground?”
I stopped, unsure what to do. His parents were nowhere to be seen, and I wanted to avoid any appearance of evil. But I was hard-pressed to simply ignore such a straightforward offer to partake of his greatest delight, that of the game.
With a serious look, I asked the lad, “Are you bored?”
“Yes,” he answered with the honesty of a boy expecting tag to begin momentarily.
“Where are your parents?” I asked, for there were no other adults in sight.
“They’re in the car,” he said, matter-of-factly.
“Well, you see,” I began to reason with him, “I don’t think your parents would be happy if we played together. We don’t know each other.”
Quick to offer solutions, the boy responded without missing a beat. “I’m James.”
A grin spread across my face, as I looked at this boy who’d so quickly found the solution to us not knowing one another.
“I’m David. It’s nice to meet you James. But, you see, I still don’t think your parents would want us to play, because they don’t know me.”
He stared at me, considering this new information I’d shared with serious eyes. After all, a good game was on the line.
And then the conclusion was reached, “Well, you should get home then.”
“Alright James. Enjoy the playground.”
I walked home with a smile. Sadly, this world is so full of evil that there are simply times when responsibility requires me to pass up on a good bit of fun. Thankfully, but maybe a good dose of worrisomely as well, that boy hasn’t yet figured out why. He stood alone in a playground. He saw me, walking alone, a perfect candidate to join in playground adventures. In his life, there are games to play and not enough time or people to play them.
But, it was a rare sunny day today. Maybe he had the good fortune of finding another recruit, closer to his age, to squeeze out the appropriate fun and adventure from that lonely playground.