On My Neighbor’s Steps

I sat on the front steps of my neighbor’s house. The sun had set, but the concrete was still warm against my bare feet. I wriggled my toes, reveling in the fact that it was warm enough for me to venture outdoors without the protection of shoes. My neighbor sat next to me and we watched as a mixed crowd of children flocked past us at a dead run. Some of them were hers, some mine, some from other houses nearby. She laughed at the spectacle. I looked at her and thought how much I’m going to miss her when her house sells.

My neighbor’s steps are the perfect height for sitting while watching young children play. We’ve sat there often and watched the dramas of childhood unfold while we discuss the dramas of parenting. We’ve negotiated truces between her determined son and my headstrong daughter. We’ve planned birthday parties and then followed through on them. Those steps have been witness to both laughter and tears.

“I really should start gathering kids for bed.” She said.
“Me too.” I replied. Neither of us moved. On this last day of Spring Break with the weather mild, what we really longed for was a pause button. Stop right there, before the inevitable crankiness of getting kids up for school in the morning, before the last six week dash toward the end of school, before the hectic work schedule of next week, before she moves away. We did not get to pause. Time marched onward and the sky grew dark. We sorted our children into the correct houses and closed the doors. Hopefully later this week will deal out another lovely evening where I can sit and visit with my friend.

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