Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Little Boy

Rose Murphy

I know a little boy with blonde hair and blue eyes, who stands tall. He drives a battery-powered truck off of ramps, into trees. As he hangs upside down from his little truck, he is saved from harm many a time by his father. He will get back in it, never giving it up. He will ride the truck until he falls asleep in it. He drives this until it wears out, the truck not the boy.

The boy grows older and receives a go-cart for his birthday. He wears a helmet and goggles. He drives in circles in our back field, around and around. He stops only for time to come and quench his thirst, as he proudly displays his helmet under his arm. He tells me, “When I am behind the wheel, it is like I am behind the wheel of a racecar. Thanks for the go cart. It is the best gift I ever had in my whole life!”

I smile. His face is completely covered with dirt, except for where his helmet and goggles were worn. The slam of the door is a familiar sound. I watch him get in his car and drive away to the field. As he drives in circles all day, clouds of dust follow him, as if they were attached to his little car or to him.

We no longer have the grass in the fields and a small tree is missing. But he drives with the passion of one with a heart of determination of becoming an independent individual, at least for the time he is out there anyway, in his own world. He drives this little go-cart every day for one summer until it, too, wears out. The go-cart, not the boy.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed young man will be visiting us this weekend. I ask, “What time do I expect you?” He answers, “I don’t know for sure. I will be in Saturday night, hopefully before y'all go to bed. But don’t wait up. I have the key.” I reply in the only manner I can to an adult. “Be careful and we will see you when you get here. We love you.”

Children declare their independence earlier than the parents are willing to accept. It is okay. Children should grow up, be independent. God just does not give us enough time in life, to not only get them ready, but to prepare ourselves to be ready for the moment it happens.

He phones me back, “Mom, can I bring the laundry? Do you mind?” “No, this would be fine,” I answer him. Yes, it is a pleasure to do the laundry when asked. It is a little gold time for me. I know this time too, will disappear. I will treasure it for now.

I look forward to seeing the blonde-haired, blue-eyed young man who will be driving over in his older Nissan truck. Because somewhere behind those eyes, hides the little boy we use to see, not too long ago.


Rose Murphy was born and raised in the South. She writes fiction and nonfiction and has a mystery in the works.

© Rose Murphy

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2010