THE GERMAN KIDS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD
Unexpected Priceless Friendships
Recently, I have been fortunate to meet some new friends in my neighborhood: the little German kids. How we became friends warmed my heart and made my spirit smile.
On some days, I will go outside to sweep the steps and front of my house of the scattered mess of autumn leaves. At times, I will pull the annoying weeds poking through the bricked path in front of my house, sweep them up, and toss them in the trash can, too.
Occasionally, I will back my car out of the garage onto my driveway to clean it. Following that, I would sweep and mop my garage. It might sound like a lot of work. But I love doing these things to keep busy, especially during this pandemic lockdown.
While working outside one day, I noticed that five kids who live in houses near me came around to watch me work. At first, they would ride their bikes up and down the street and watch me as they passed by me. But today, they rolled up on their bikes and stopped to watch me work.
They all wore colorful shiny bike helmets that I thought looked so cute on them. One kid, who seemed to be about five years old, wore glasses and a bright yellow and white helmet. While sitting on his plastic tractor, he blew his tractor horn for me. I smiled at him to thank him for his demonstration. Another kid sitting on his little red and white bike rang the bell on the handlebars to get my attention. I smiled at him too. Yet, they remained quiet as they sat on their bikes watching me work.
I knew they spoke no English. My German is passable in a crunch, but not good enough to hold a conversation with these kids. Being the adult, I broke the ice and struck up a conversation with them anyway with the little German that I already knew.
After saying hello, I asked, "Wie geht's heute?" (How are you today?) Their faces lit up, showing to me they looked impressed. But I was hesitant to speak more German to them. I felt I was wading into deeper waters, knowing full well that I never learned how to swim. Yet I continued by giving t...