Toddler Says Hi

18 Aug

There is a little old man we pass almost every time we walk down the lane way to Gramma’s house. He sits in a lawn chair drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

A few months ago, JP started saying hi to almost everybody he passes. The man in the lane way is no exception. Every time we pass him, JP shouts loud and clear, “HI JOHN!” And the old man would wave and say hi back.

After about a month of these exchanges, I asked the man if his name was John. Surprisingly, it was! He said, “I’ve been wondering how your kid knew my name.” I told him that he calls people random names and that his Gramma has a neighbour named John. The man asked our names and now when we walk by and JP screams “HI JOHN”, John yells back “HI JP!”

He has started giving the boys cookies when we walk past and has given RJ a chocolate once. I don’t want to become overly familiar with the people who live in the lane way, but I think small talk and simple exchanges are harmless.

I’ve been told this man John lost his family because he drank too much. Maybe that’s true, or maybe he has a sad life for other reasons.

The people who live in the lane are generally of the non-working welfare receiving class. The apartment buildings are basically slums and quite dilapidated.

I wouldn’t be surprised if John’s exchanges with JP are a bright point of his day!

I won’t be asking him to babysit anytime soon but making someone’s day a little brighter is a good way to pay it forward. All it takes is a cheerful greeting from the friendly neighbourhood greeter!

One Response to “Toddler Says Hi”


  1. Toddler Says Hi…and Annoys People | eating dirt - August 20, 2013

    […] Sound familiar? […]

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