No one was more loved than David was. From the moment Charlotte signed those papers, he was no longer Mark and Estelle's grandson, he was their son.
They raised him in Manotick, which was seven miles outside of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Mark made a good living wage with the CNR, and Estelle didn't need to work. In spite of the mortgage on the house, she was able to stay home with David.
He was a big boy, right from birth. He was half a head taller than most boys his age. He was never stubborn or difficult as his mother had been, he was just rambunctious.
Mark was the engineer on one of the last steam engines still in operation, in 1955. David loved to get up there in the cab and pull the whistle cord while it was in the roundhouse for maintenance. He loved to run through the house, yelling "choo choo choo!"
Mark was very proud that David seemed to have inherited his great love for trains. For Christmas the year David was 4, Mark and Estelle gave him a fully functional miniature train set that they set up in the basement.
Even though Mark was 40, and Estelle was 38 when David was born, they had as much fun playing with that train set as he did.
One day in July of 1956, David's life changed forever. He came running into the house, yelling,
"mama, mama, come here, quick!"
Fearing the worst, Estelle went to David, who was standing inside the front hall, door hanging wide open.
"Look, mama, we gots new neighbours!"
He squealed excitedly as he jumped up and down, and bounced himself right out onto the veranda.
Estelle joined David on the veranda and watched as the movers unloaded the big Mayflower truck across the street. A big station wagon pulled up behind the moving van.
When a little boy his own age got out of the back seat, David couldn't contain himself. There weren't any small children in the neighbourhood, mostly just provincial and federal employees, with teenagers, or older children.
"Let me go say hello mama, please mama, please?" David wheedled.
Estelle smiled indulgently. She was glad that David finally had someone his own age to play with. He didn't start kindergarten till the fall, so he had never had a chance to socialize with other small children.
"Alright Davey, we'll go over together, and introduce ourselves."
David ran down the steps and into the garage where he kept his tall bright green tricycle, his pride and joy. Estelle waited for him to climb up on it, and she escorted him across the street.
David boldly rode his trike up the new neighbour's driveway, and dismounted near the little boy. The boy had been standing in the driveway admiring David"s trike as he crossed the street.
"Hi, I' m David. What's your name?"
"I'm Kyle. Hey, that's a neat. trike."
"Yeah, Santa Claus gived it to me for Christmas. Wanna go for a ride?"
"Can I mommy?' Kyle asked, hopefully.
The boy looked at his mother, who was walking two little girls up to the house. The girls were only toddlers, three years old at the most. They both had auburn hair, flashing green eyes, and appeared to be identical twins.
"Just to the corner and back."
she called back at him.
Kyle nods and grins as he climbs onto the back step of the tricycle.
David pumps his strong little legs like pistons, and yells as he peddles down the street.
"Choo choo chooo I'm a train. Choo choo choo I got passengers!"
Kyle hangs on tight and echos his new friend"s yells.
"Chooo choo chooo!"
Kyle's mom watched the boys go to the corner as she struggled to keep a firm grip on the hands of the two little girls. One of them breaks loose and runs after the boys on the sidewalk, yelling with the boys.
"Chooooo chooo chooo!!
The mom picks up the other toddler and starts to run after the little runaway, calling loudly."
"Emily, Emily, you get back here right now!"
Estelle catches the little girl by the middle as she tries to run by. She laughs as she swings Emily up into her arms."
"Oh no you don't little one, you're not going anywhere."
Estelle brings Emily back to her mother and sets her down. Her mom takes the girl's hand while still holding the other twin.
"Thank you so much. Emily can be such a handful! My name is Colleen Maxwell. The girls are Emily and Joanie. My boy is on the trike with yours. His name is Kyle."
Estelle looks fondly at David who has now switched places with Kyle, and is now on the back of the trike.
"The little train engine is David. We live across the street. My name is Estelle Larson, and my husband Mark is a train engineer."
Colleen sets Joanie down and holds firmly onto both girls.
"My husband is Barry. He's an RCMP officer."
The two women walk up the steps and into the Maxwell house.
The boys continued to ride back and forth to the corner, taking turns at the handlebars. David didn't mind sharing his prized possession with his new friend.
Right from that first day, that was how their relationship worked. Share, and share alike. They never fought over toys. In fact, they rarely fought about anything.