Yesterday, I arrived home and Eli flew open the door and shouted, “I’m wearing lipstick!”
And he was. I immediately gave Diana a look that said, “Don’t put me in the position of approving or disapproving this.” Yes, there is a look that says that complex emotion. It’s all in the scrunching of the nose.
That story has nothing to do with today’s topic.
We’ve lived in our house for 6 (7? 8?) years now and have never really interacted with our neighbors to the north. They are a really nice Hispanic family, but our relationship consists of that five seconds while one of us are walking from our car to our front door. Vigorously wave. Shout “Hi.” Unlock the front door. See your son in makeup.
I’ll admit most of my hang up is the dad doesn’t have a huge command of the English language. And I have almost zero command of Spanish.
We tend to communicate through yard work. I’ll mow their front lawn every couple months and the dad will shovel our front walk in the winter. I clearly get the better end of that interaction.
But here’s the thing. The beautiful, beautiful thing. Our kids don’t give a rat’s ass about who speaks what and how. They speak the international language of water guns.
Last Sunday, Elijah and Luca were playing water guns in the backyard (nude) when a stream of water flew over the fence and into our yard. It began one of those awesome water fights where you get little pieces of grass stuck all over your legs and your hair goes nuts and eventually your mom yells at you to knock it off.
This all occurred while I was at work last weekend. I arrived home to find Eli running at full steam across our lawn, water gun in hand (he had acquired pants at this point) and began banging furiously on our neighbor’s gate.
Not knowing our children had blown up our polite, yet cold relationship, I stopped him. ‘Whoa. We don’t just go banging on people’s door, mister…”
Their kid, Diogo (what does it say about me that I didn’t know their kid’s name before Eli did) flew open the door and unleashed a torrent of water into Eli’s face. Eli laughed that laugh of people who actually enjoy being soaked in 69 degree weather.
And he ran into their backyard. The backyard of his new best friends. Diogo, his brother with the name that starts with a D and their mom and dad whose names I will now make it my duty to learn.