It was cold enough outside to feel it, but warm enough to be okay. Davis stood at the front door of his house looking out at his block. The cool breeze felt like a fingernail being rubbed across his cheek. He stood on the front stoop in his robe and smiled at the day.
If he’d been older, he’d have looked like a Viagra commercial. Also, if he’d been older, he might have been drinking a coffee and smoking a cigarette thoughtfully. He might have had a feeling of serenity and happiness that had seemed like it was gone for good.
As it was, Davis was only six, so he didn’t have anything to drink or smoke, and he felt pretty serene a great deal of the time anyway, so the serenity he felt on that morning wasn’t something he felt he needed to remember. He was up before the rest of the house, and he was pretty happy to be alone for a change. He went back inside and fixed himself a bowl of cereal, feeling pretty pleased with himself.
After he’d had breakfast, he decided that he was going to go past the front steps even though he knew that he wasn’t really supposed to with no one to watch him. But the morning was just looking too good to pass up, and he wanted to go have a little adventure in the great outdoors. He went around the house and took his tricycle out of the back yard. He positioned it carefully on the sidewalk, sat down on it and started peddling. There was nobody else around, so he had the whole crescent to himself. The lawns were terribly green, the flowers were in bloom, and it was already clear that, though it was comfortable at the time, it was going to be unbearably hot outside later.
Someone must have been awake. Somebody must have seen him, and called his parents. He only got about three houses down from his own when his mom came out and grabbed him. She was just irritated that she’d had to get up early on a Saturday morning to come and fetch him. Why couldn’t he just be a normal kid and watch cartoons in the morning?
The truth was that normally he loved cartoons, and if there’d been even one cloud, he might have just gone back inside to watch some TV. But there wasn’t even one cloud, so he wanted to get out for a bit. It was summer, and he knew that there wasn’t any school coming up. There was just a long stretch of more beautiful mornings in front of him.
He had generally been pretty happy about being a kid. And he was just as irritated as his mother was about the whole thing. He realized that being a kid meant being seized from your tricycle when you’re happily riding down the block, enjoying the morning. And then it didn’t seem like a very good deal anymore.