We have new neighbors across the street. They moved in a few weeks ago, and we’ve exchanged a few words here and there, but mostly they’ve been busy with moving in and I’ve been busy moving my children from the house to the car and back again.
As far as I can tell from brief conversation, they’re about the same age as Hubby and I–maybe a couple of years older. They’ve got two or three kids, the oldest appears to be about six or seven.
The other day my Mother in Law was leaving the house when she turned around and called out to her son, “come see–it’s your future.” Curious, my husband and slipped out the front door to see what in the world she was talking about.
Across the street, our new neighbors were playing in the front yard. Dad was tossing a football to his two sons. The oldest did fairly good job, and the younger boy ran back and forth getting very little action.
We stood there and watched for a bit. A scene we know nothing about–the running legs of the little boy, the effortlessness with which he caught the ball–it’s all completely foreign to us. And while my Mother in Law referenced the future, thinking of the twins, in a way we were also looking at what might have been. Had life taken a different direction, it might have been us tossing the ball with our son. Instead, he played on the floor inside, his legs still more of burden than an asset.
It could have been a bittersweet moment, and maybe it should have been. But as I stood there on the front porch, I was fine. I was aware of the difference between their lives and ours, but it didn’t phase me. Maybe it’s because we have new possibilities at our house now. Maybe it’s because I’ve reached some level of acceptance. I’m not really sure.
I shrugged my shoulders and muttered, “eh.” My husband said to his mother, “I’m not sure we’ll ever be those people.”
And we went inside.