"Here, this is for you," he said, beaming at me on Monday, offering me a freshly-picked flower.
He is tall, handsome, confident ....
... four years old
.... won my heart with his very first smile and impish 'Hello'
.... and I've looked forward to 'bumping into' him on the daily walk to and from school every day since that first meeting.
Carefully holding the flower, I walked alongside him, chatting casually, answering his questions with a breezy nonchalance I did not feel inside as his scooter clattered along the kerb.
The flower deserved to be saved for a while longer to preserve the wonderful fizz of happiness bubbling away inside, so an ancient shot glass was found for Patrick's impulsive gift.
On Friday, at the end of a busy week, I was at my usual place by the side gate at the school; not welcome in the grounds due to having Milly with me, waiting for Sapphire to emerge - sticky hair, tired grin and usually staggering under the weight of her tortoiseshell-of-a-backpack.
Fifteen minutes ticked by which is about five months in a 'The bell has gone and school's finished for the week' time-frame and Milly had been greeted and patted by her regular dozen or so stage door Johnnies. Sapphire's friends and class mates had all hustled past, said 'Hi' and headed home. The cleaner arrived and the yard-duty teacher was ready to unzip her fluoro vest and find her hatchback in the staff car park. Still no Sapphire to be seen.
My stomach started pounding in anxiety. Where was she?
Oh yes, then I remembered - Sapphire was at her extra music lesson straight after school to cover the one she missed when at camp last week. I was therefore content to linger at the gate with Milly, ruffling her ears as we checked the progress of the apartment block being built by burly Kiwi blokes across the road and the angry pair of Pomerians complaining about the intrusion in the tiny brick house next door.
Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Patrick. He was playing in the sandpit inside the school fence while his older brother Lachlan was kicking the footy with his father, Chris.
Patrick finished poking his stick collection into the squashed lunch time sand castle made by older kids and spotted me.
"Kath! Hello Kath," he yelled happily and ran over.
I turned and smiled, walking towards my young male admirer.
His father was about 100 metres away and had met me only once before and on that singular occasion I was wearing a dress, heels and make-up and was about to go out with his wife Amy to see a fashion show and movie about Valentino.
He was not, therefore, able to instantly compute that the figure in denim jeans and a black hoodie that was - at that unfortunate moment - covering her head due to the cold breeze, was, in fact, his wife's friend.
Like a taller and thinner Tom Cruise from 'Minority Report' at the swimming pool he instead noted that his youngest son was approaching a shabbily-dressed stranger at the school gate.
"Patrick!" His face was a mask of instant anguish and there was no way his six foot-seven frame was going to allow me even a moment to consider reaching out to ruffle his son's hair. He ran like a streak of petrified parental lightning across the oval.
I flipped my hoodie back and smiled nervously. "Er, Hi Chris. It's Kath."
Chris's face was still reverting from panic to blankness.
"Chris? I'm Kath; your wife Amy's friend. We went to see that movie together...? We're coming to your place for morning tea this Sunday...?"
He nodded, the colour returning to his cheeks. "Oh, yes. Kath...."
I couldn't help but say it out loud.
"You thought I was a paedophile, didn't you?"