jake just called grandma for a moment. see how she is doing. ask her a couple questions. inquire about the status of neighbors & community kids. the usual.
you have to know, grandma is the center of our block. present always like eddie, she is often available through her presence to those who need her love the most. those who often have no place to go and kids who have lost imaginations.
ethan, jermaine & andre's grandparents live next door to grandma with only a chest high wire fence separating them. throughout the summer the boys are known to play ball and "accidentally" throw &/or kick it over into grandma's yard. in the past, because they have not been the most pleasant munchkins in how they ask grandma for their ball back she often times lets the ball sit. sit as the boys look. hoping & wishing for mercy.
she'll often times let it, the ball, wait in the yard a day to teach in a somewhat passive way to use appropriate language in how they ask for things. today was different though. she shared that the boys threw the ball over the fence. they then promptly asked, "grandma, can you please give us our ball back." she did. and then it happened. they said "thank you." they said thank you.
grandma shared, "i knew it was you two who taught them that."
i'm not sure it was, but there is a part of me that hopes for our influence to have caused them to learn how to say "thank you". if so, i can leave chicago knowing that the world is a little better. i guess that's all that we/i can hope for. that wherever we leave, whenever we leave, whomever we leave, they & it will be a little better when we leave. just a little.