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March 8, 2002 - Friday
Dylan is a two and a half year old boy and the son of a woman with whom I used to ride the elementary school bus growing up. And, as it turns out, he lives less than a half mile away. Since Dylan's mother and I rediscovered one another, we've talk a few times in the street and, on a couple of occasions, I've brought Harry to Dylan's house to play. Dylan's father, it turns out, is a partner in a construction business and thus sometimes has large trucks and other capital equipment around the yard. But, more important, Dylan has matching toys: a sit-on front loader and sit-on backhoe that both have manually operable digging buckets. These are the highlights for Harry.

Today, on quite a lark, we happened to visit Dylan just as his father was preparing to dump a very large pile of crushed stone from an 18-wheel dump dump truck and Harry was, needless to say, in awe. We had actually stopped at the construction site to kill a little time on the way home when we saw Dylan's father go by with the big truck and trailer. I was thinking we'd just drive up the little side street to watch him park the truck, using it as an opportunity to get Harry and Jeremy back in the car. Yet, as we approached Dylan's house I could see Dylan and his mother patiently waiting on their house steps, watching Dylan's father back the semi into place. I began to understand what was coming.

We pulled off the side of the road and Harry, Dylan, his mother, Jeremy tucked inside my coat, and I watched as the big tracker trailer dump truck first drew back its cover, then lifted three stories into the air to discharge its load leaving the large pile of crushed stones into which Dylan, Dylan's toys, and Harry quickly went.. It's hard to know how long we would have had to stay there for Harry to leave on his own, but it was a lot longer than we did stay. My usual warnings of "it's almost time to go home" drew nothing more than a disbelieving stare for Harry. There was no "two more minutes," no "Harry stay here," just a blank 'you simply can't be serious' kind of leer. I guess the easy life of a two-year old isn't always so easy when you have killjoy parents.

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