My grandson Dylan's days are filled with "my buds". These are all the people who've become familiar to him over the past 3 1/2 years we've been out walking. There's Bob-the-little-gray-guy...he collects our regular garbage every week in the gray can. And Roger the mail man. John, a warehouseman at a plumbing supply company a few blocks away whom we've befriended as we pass by. All the men who work at a radiator supply store we walk by almost daily. The UPS delivery man. The checkers at the Save A Lot store. The librarians. The people who work at Walgreen's and Little Caesar's Pizza, the neighborhood bakery, and the Subway down the street. The postal workers at the front counter at the post office.
I love how getting out has created a sense of community for my grandchildren, even tho we live in a large city. I love how they wave at and greet everyone we come across. In this world full of Stranger Danger, I don't want them to be fearful of everyone they come in contact with because not everyone out there is waiting to do them harm. Race and religion don't even enter in to it for them...everyone gets a wave and a cheerful "Hi!!!" And rarely does anyone ever ignore them. Even teenagers.
I teach them caution. I tell them never to wander off, to stay with Grandma. But they feel secure in knowing when they're with me all's pretty much well with their world. And hopefully it will stay that way. Because, in all actuality, this world is still a decent place to be in. Most of the time.