Meeting the Joneses

Billy came running into the house.

“Mom, there’s a boy from CCD playing in the alleyway…”


“…yeah, Ryan. Can I play in the alleyway?”

“Sure, Billy, for about 20 minutes.”

And then they all wanted to play, including Pete. So I grabbed my calendar and my grocery list and thought I could plan my much needed shopping trip while I kept an eye on the kids as they flew up and down the alley on their scooters and bikes. But Ryan’s dad was tinkering in his garage, and he decided to come over and chit chat. We’ve met at CCD, and I knew his house was one of the ones that shared the alley with ours.

“How many kids do you have? They just seem to keep pouring out of the house…”

I’m sure it seemed that way. They kept going in and out giving the illusion of a never-ending stream of children. He wasn’t being mean.

And so we made small talk and my list didn’t get made. Then another garage door opened, and a woman I had never met came out with some garbage. She knew Ryan’s dad, and so she joined us in our idle chatter. “Hi, I’m Michelle,” I said.

“I’m Chris.”

She sur-veyed the activity with amuse-ment. Pete was there on one of the riding toys. “How old is he?”

“Twenty-one months, yesterday, actually,” I replied.

“He’s cute. {pause} I saw him earlier. In the fort.” She gestured at our swing set, clearly visible from the alleyway. “He was standing in the doorway. Not a stitch of clothing on. He waved.”

Great...” Yeah. Lovely.

Hi. Nice-ta-meet-cha. Have you met my children? Oh, you have

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