Wednesday, June 20, 2007

tea and handshakes

aliens took over my body today and made me talk to my neighbors.

after dinner, i put bug in the stroller and pooka got on her big wheel and we went for a walk around the block. i just wanted a little fresh air and to give kisu some time alone in the house. pooka wanted to race around the block 3 times. 3/4 of the way around the block we ran into barricades where the sidewalk was ripped out. pooka ws thrilled and scared when i had her ride IN THE STREET(!) along the curb to get around the obstruction. shortly after that, we had to time our travel to avoid a sprinkler. then we got stopped by the first neighbor.

her house is 3 doors down from ours, and i had actually met her before. way back when we first moved in and pam was visiting, we went to a garage sale and pam fell in love with this lady's japanese red lace maple. i don't think i've talked to her since. (btw, did anything come of those seeds, pam?) anyway, we spoke for about 5-10 minutes.

we completed our first run and i told pooka that we only had time for one more lap because it was so late. she was determined to fit in two more laps and took off. i was hard put to keep up with her. she had nearly a full block lead on me, and if she hadn't gotten distracted enough to stop, i wouldn't have caught up with her. when i did get close to her, i noticed a little boy playing in his yard across the street. then i noticed his mom on the porch holding a baby just about bug's size. i called pooka back and we CROSSED THE STREET! i couldn't believe i had the courage to make the first move. turns out, this boy we had met last summer when he was taking a walk with his dad and we were in the backyard. his first comment on meeting her was "i like your voice." what 5 year old thinks about voices? pooka was bald at the time, so i wasn't sure the boy remembered her, but when i mentioned it, both parents said they did remember. the mother worked at goilda's club for a time, so pooka particularly stuck in her memory.

pooka and cullen played in the yard for awhile as suzanne and i talked. the baby is 6 weeks older than bug, and cullen is 6 months older than pooka. enough to put him one grade ahead, but that allowed me to quiz them all on their experience with the local elementary school. (so far, so good; kisu and i still haven't decided where pooka will go for kindergarten.) we stayed and talked for almost HALF AN HOUR. pooka secured an invitiation to come and play anytime. apparently there are a couple other kids pooka's age nearby, too. i am eager to find some local friends for us all. maybe we will finally develop some friendships in our neighborhood. better late than never.