Johnny J, my "son" at Dorothy's house, is 3 and a half now. He was sitting in mini-school on the porch when I walked in and just stared at me. Good little man didn't move until I beckoned and then he came running. He clung to me and was not pleased when I put him down after a few minutes and told him to go back to school. He continues his ARVs and is doing better than I hoped. He is still the skinniest kid ever - 18 month old shorts fall off his non-existent butt - and his lisp is incredible, a result of his recurrent ear infections before he went on the AIDS meds. When I first moved to Dorothy's, he was one of the high chair babies, but now, he is one of the Big Boys and gets to come upstairs with Cha-Cha and Mich to play, especially if I'm there.
In my neighborhood, Frantz is still my best man. He is at my door every day and when I'm not too tired or too seriously working, he is inside the house too. He plays with blocks, sweeps, practices writing letters, answers the phone for me, and most often fiddles with my radio and blasts music throughout the entire Shoebox. Sometimes he is my son; other times he is my boyfriend. He has a tendancy to start instantly punching any men or teenage boys that walk into my house, which, considering I live next door to St Joseph's, happens on a regular basis.
I have many other "boys" in my life: the St Joe's boys, staff and demo crew, my youth group boys and co-leaders, Tweedledee and Tweedledum who have taken to following me around again now that exams are over, and my guys at Delmas 24, but it is Johnny and Frantz who truly rule in my heart.