Monte has built a friendship with him.
They talk periodically.
Monte has passed his name along to friends and neighbors.
He came the other day to clean our gutters and rake our Sycamore's face-size leaves.
I noticed when I moved my car out of the driveway for him, that he had his little daughter with him.
When I peeked my head in his truck he said that "he had to do what he had to do".
He is a single parent.
I asked if it was okay if she came in to play with my girls while he worked.
He said it was okay.
Her name is Bella.
She is 4.
I forgot 4.
4 is great.
Everything to a 4-year-old is great.
We were starting to hang the lights and ornaments on our tree.
"Your tree is great!" Bella shouted.
The girls played with Play Dough with her.
She thought Play Dough was great.
From time to time she'd come into the room where I was to check on me.
"Just wanted to make sure you are okay," she'd say.
She LOVED Monte.
He chased her around the house and she imitated him "sneaking" up on her.
It brought the house down.
Her imitation was
Down to the wide eyes and tippy toe steps.
We made icing for decorating cookies.
She told me how much she liked powdered sugar.
There was just a teensy bit left in the bag.
I was caught up in the "greatness of 4" so I told Bella to lick her finger and stick it in the bag for a little licky loo.
Well, bless her heart,
she was so sweet
one licky loo
Soon she was hopping on one foot
shaking her hands around
with her tongue hanging out of her mouthlike she was half-way down crazy lane.
I thought McDaniel and Ellie were going to pass out from laughing so hard.
We gave her some Christmas decorations and a pretty dress that Mrs. Claus had "handmade" for Ellie years ago for Christmas.
When Bella tried it on, she said,
"I'm a princess!"
She gave us hugs on the way out that didn't last long enough.
We couldn't tell her father even the beginning of the good job he is doing with his daughter.
She was so polite.
I forgot how much I miss 4.
When everything was great.
Everything was magic.
When they say please
and thank you
and excuse me.
And don't know how to roll their eyes.