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COLUMN: Katie, the girl in the window

COLUMN: Katie, the girl in the window

During the past few days, my young neighbor peeks through her family's narrow kitchen window. This child, Katie, always succeeds in getting my attention as I walk to my home from the mailbox.

Katie, who is 5, welcomes me with facial expressions that are pensive, dramatic or just plain happy. This girl just stands at the window, even on a sunny day.

I have wondered why I have not seen this girl playing outside. Usually Katie is driving her bright-pink convertible child car, with pedals, or riding her new purple bicycle. Sometimes she is on her scooter, always wearing a small helmet and a smile.

A recent email satisfied my curiosity, but left me feeling dismal.

I am not certain if the child completely understands why she cannot leave her house.

Katie has tested positive for COVID-19.

This child asked me, "Robyn, when are you going to come by and see me tomorrow?"

I replied, "Probably around this same time."

Katie emphatically suggests, "No, come by sooner!"

The next day, as I strolled by the vertical window, Katie greeted me. I smell the freshly cut lawn, hear the birds sing, and admire summer's bountiful flowers, bedded in her mother's garden. I wish that Katie could join me outside.

The window is locked. The girl's voice is soft. Katie and I make silly faces at each other. I tell her that her long hair is pretty, and she compliments me on my sandals, adorned with tiny, clear crystals.

I continue to create new ways to entertain Katie through this stubborn, yet safe, window between us.

My neighbor is a young girl who is more than just a quarantined child or another county statistic.

Katie is my friend.

Robyn Lynne Benjamin is a Freelance Writer, and Photographer.  She has enjoyed working with children, and college students.

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