It’s not even 9:00 am and our boy is already on the road, back to his college town. I’ve already dusted and tidied up his bedroom, turning it back into a sitting room/study for the next couple of months, until he comes home for the summer. Nice to have that extra space, but I’d much rather have my boy and his constant singing, talking, and observations on life. Sigh.
This goodbye wasn’t too awful, though. Because now we’re in the home stretch. We go to see him in the spring opera in a couple of weeks, and then before we know it I’ll be making the three-hour trip to help him move his stuff home for the summer. I can live with that.
And I have plenty to remember him by, after such a busy week of repairs and projects.
Yesterday afternoon it was just warm enough to wash his 22-year-old Jeep and my new-ish Saturn without freezing our fingers off. We were working together happily when the two adorable sisters from next door came over to ask if they could help. I loved having them work alongside us (though The Boy took me aside and asked me to double-check their work thoroughly to make sure his Jeep was really clean so he wouldn’t have one of his OCD-tendancy freakouts).
The two girls, 8 and 5, were a delight. Bright, hard workers with a good sense of humor. As we worked together, the three young ones who live on our other side rode their bikes and trikes past repeatedly. Once we’d finished the car washing and put away the supplies, I brought out brownies for our two little helpers to take home and went inside to warm up.
Afterwards, the scene that played out as I looked thorugh our front picture windows was great fun to watch. All five children (the two sisters from the house to our west and the three siblings from the house to our east) initiated a “neighbor friendship” for the first time. All of them are old enough now to be allowed to run around in their front yards slightly unsupervised, and I watched the progress with interest.
They spent some time perusing books from our LIttle Free Library. They rode their bikes, trikes, and scooters up and down the sidewalk together, pulling into our driveway frequently. A special friendship formed between the kindergarten girl from the west side and the kindergarten boy from the east side. Tiny heads bobbed up and and down through our yard and occasionally onto our porch for an hour, until I heard one of the sisters from the house to the east call, “Mom says it’s time to go inside!”
When our babies were the same age (we’ve been in the same house all their lives), we were the only family with young children for blocks around. Any play dates had to be carefully scheduled and involved parents driving – no spontaneous games between front and back yards. Such fun to see our neighbors enjoying a different experience, one that I grew up with myself.
Somehow it’s comforting to know that though two of my babies have flown so far, I’ll now have the joy of watching our neighbors’ fledglings play together.