This guy has stolen my heart. Really. I first met him about 6 months ago. He came riding up to the fence on his bicycle, that separates his Grandaddy’s property from our farm. I am a sucker for a long-sleeved cowboyshirt tucked into jeans. His collar was buttoned up, it was a quite warm day, and I still don’t know how an 8 year old could keep a shirt tucked in as he climbed the fence to give me a hand.

Garrett is what he told me his name was, not a boistrous kid, and he sat with me in the dirt while we fixed the weedeater I was working on.

He’s smart, I thought to myself, as without much talking, he watched what I was doing. A fine bead of sweat glistened above his thin upper lip and I watched him as he tried coiling the new string into the weedeater.

“Garrett”, Grandaddy Gene called. “Come on back over here. Your momma is ready to go.”

“Can I come back?” he asked me.

“Year, Garret, you’re a good helper”.

“I like you,” he said.

“I like you too,” I said with a smile.

Gene later told me about his grandson. How they almost lost him. Deep inside every cell of that cowboy’s body are little factories that make energy, and his are messed up. “He’s got what they call a metabolic disease,” his Grandfather stated.

Garrett and I have spent a few afternoons together. He always politely asks if he can help me. He tells me about school and likes to help me get the chickens and turkeys in the pen. He watches and learns in everything he does and when we are done, we have a coke out of the little fridge in the tack room. He usually stands, shirt all tucked into his belted genes, pushes his hat back, booted feet crossed at the ankles, and swigs his drink happily.

“Can I come back next time I am here?” He always asks.

“Yep”, I say.

I watch as his little thin shoulders grab the fence and he hooks his boots into the hogwire and over he goes.

Garrett is the resiliency, innocence, and beauty that is a child. He takes each day the way it comes and hopes for the next.

He’s my handsome cowboy this month.