Our neighbors have four children whom we have watched fly from their nest, one by one. By the time we moved here, they were deep enough into the rituals of parenthood, that they knew the importance of creating a village on our block. Their teenagers each had the benefit of our watchful gaze. That is, they had the threat of such a thing. We were not yet parents when Sue started calling to say, “We are going out of town…the kids are staying. You’ll keep a eye out?” For what, we had no clue. But we agreed. Then, when Lance was born, Sue helped launch the next generation’s village. She threw a shower for him, and our neighbor’s newborn daughter. Their birthdays are days apart. They are the kind of friends who, without question, “get” each other. Little Brother worships his big bro’s sweet pal, and her older sister, who babysits them.
Today, as our neighbor’s daughter and son-in-law were flying across the country from the East Coast, to visit with their infant son, Sue invited the four younger kids to help decorate the house for Halloween.
Let me explain something: Utah takes Halloween seriously. No one more so than
Sue. She and her husband preside over the type of silly haunted house that attracts people from the Salt Lake Valley to visit. And, for several years, now, these four kids have gotten to participate in the decorating–and in adding to the atmosphere on Halloween.
I’m grateful. These neighbors, these dear friends, are giving our kids the kinds of memories they’ll keep always. And, I suspect, they are giving our kids the message that they watch out for them, cheer for them, share sadness when it comes. But today was just plain fun.