THE HAPPY: Andy’s birthday has somehow turned into a week long event. We have the family birthday – he picks what’s for dinner, we have cake and he gets his gifts from us. Then, we have the friend party – this year a low-key bowling adventure – followed by cake and ice cream. THEN, we meet up with my parents. My dad’s birthday is the 22nd and he and Andy always share a cake and pizza. This year was no different. Andy is currently in a deep cake-induced-coma. We expect him to emerge sometime on Monday.
THE SAD: Yesterday afternoon/evening got a little confusing. The kids went bowling but then two had to go to the dentist, one had batting practice. The older they get the harder it is to carve out time, it seems. We agreed to meet up at our house later for cake and ice cream. At the same time, one of my neighbors was home with a very sick, very old dog. If you’ve ever had a pet, you know how devastating this is. For me, I was hit hard 1) because Mikey (real name Michaelanglo) was an awesome dog, a Boston Terrier. I really liked him – and I like to think he liked me ok and 2) Scout is old and I know this day is coming for us.
The kids were all here. My other neighbor, the one with a gift for comforting words (I’m the girl you want if you need things cleaned or done, not so much for words – I freeze up) was helping my neighbor with poor Mikey. Mikey finally let go. I’m glad all of us were home. I was glad to be able to do something concrete and feed the kids. We built a fire, the kids lit bamboo sticks and raised the glowing tips (a la Harry Potter) in Mikey’s honor. It makes me weepy just typing it. Go ahead, go hug your pets, I’ll wait.
THE CRAZY: In the midst of all of this, one of the older boys handed me the phone. It was our neighbor, Miss Andrea. Initially, she was a quiet, but friendly neighbor. She and Mike talked gardening and yard stuff. She was always nice to the boys and as the boys got old enough, she would hire them for various yard work. We’ve always had a distant but mostly friendly relationship. Over the past year, though, it’s gotten strange. She called the police over our 4th of July party – at 8:30!!!!! She and the older boys have had some crazy run-ins over yard work issues this past year as well … like they should think to haul the yard waste to a vacant house two streets over? But, they complied and remained friendly.
Yesterday, though, over the top cray-zee! I took the receiver from my son and was met with a barrage of obscenties from my, until this point, reticent neighbor. There was, somehow a plastic sword on her roof. No damage, no stains, just a dumb old sword on her roof. I knew it was there and had been lax about having the boys get it down – I don’t know how it got up there – they do not normally play on that side of the yard. My bad.
But, yikes! I’m sure I’ve said here before, I admire people that can swear well and not sound stupid. It’s an art in my opinion. But, I might have to revise my opinion. This neighbor was cursing and saying horrible things to me about a plastic sword on her roof. I will share this semi-family-friendly tidbit “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with those —damned kids. I think they’re all most likely retarded or something . . .” One, she thinks I am the mother of ALL the children in the neighborhood. Two, who in the world spouts this kind of hatred at someone who has been a good neighbor for eight years? I assured my neighbor, while she continued to rant, that the sword would be off of her roof and hung up on her.
Aside from when Mike and I were dating, I do not recall EVER hanging up the phone on another adult. But, honestly, she was scaring me. She lives alone and I wonder if there’s not some kind of mental illness setting in – I don’t know, she’s in her 50’s, not that old.
For now, I’ve declared half of our yard off limits to all kids – the ones I birthed and the ones who just come here. I don’t know what else to do.
So, that’s where we are this weekend. Think a good thought or say a prayer for Mikey’s family. They are sure missing him. And, think a good thought or say a prayer for my neighbor, something is NOT right there.
Hope you’re all having a good weekend.