I stepped out on my front porch in search of my younger two children. I’d come up from a deep work focus with a vague awareness that they’d gone outside to play. It was time for me to ascertain their exact whereabouts. On my next door neighbor’s lawn eight children had formed a band. A CD player provided the music. My son and his same-age friend were dancing about with pvc pipe constructions which yesterday had been swords, but were obviously now transformed into guitars. Two four-year-old boys swung pvc pipe drumsticks to pound on imaginary drums. One ten year old boy was the lead singer and everyone else rocked out as back up dancers. The pavement was cool against my feet as I watched the joyous energy from a distance. Later it would be much too hot for such vigorous energy outdoors, but in the morning sunlight they were beautiful.
My joy at watching them tipped over to sadness. In the background of their frolic was the For Sale sign. Half the children in the band would soon be living somewhere else. The parents of the other two neighbor kids are engaged in a country-wide job search. My mind’s eye subtracted all those other kids, leaving mine alone. A tear trickled down my cheek. These are not my kids’ only friends, they have many, but this game, played in this way, with this group, would soon vanish forever. I will miss it.