This morning from my kitchen window I can see the little girls next door frolicking in their backyard. They speak five year old gibberish with occasional outbursts of “Mommy!” or “EEeeeeEE!” They flibbet about in their matching sandals while waving their plastic humdingers. And I think that it is strange that they are so close and have been here for a couple years and with few exceptions – that being our first meeting and introduction when they were two, and more recently their mother’s request that we keep an eye out for lurking weirdos in the alley behind our houses – we don’t really know them or have any cause to interact with them (potential weirdo-rescue aside). I realize that without kids of my own, or being particularly attracted to kids in general (not in the weirdo way, but in the might-or-wish-I-could-have-one-or-four-myself-someday kind of way that people do), I am just ‘that lady’ that lives next door.
This sudden dawning reveals that I may have become a thing that I once feared.
When growing up, on one side of our house was a family with four children. The kids were all older than my sister and I were, except the youngest son who was almost our age. So there was sledding and kickball and swimming (and then later some other things not appropriate to mention in this particular post). But on the other side of our house lived Mr. Morehead. He lived alone. His house was brown. His yard only to be entered as quickly and as briefly as possible to fetch an errant ball or vigorously served badminton birdie.
Ways in which I am the same:
- no children
- intimidating presence
- protruding belly
- kids have anxiously scurried into yard to fetch things that landed there
- consume alcoholic beverages in the back yard
- not trick-or-treated
- greeted by parents, rarely by children
- wear glasses
- have girlfriend with big hair
Ways in which I am different:
- have own hair
- house painted more cheerful color
- have cute cats in window looking out at children
- no one shooting BBs at birdhouse pole
- keep shirt on while in yard
- keep girlfriend at house, do not live alone
I’m hoping that those latter things, particularly having Lolly and my own hair, will be enough to stave off the stigma of my childlessness.
Of course, you know, maybe I’m not the Morehead… but maybe I am something even scarier!?!