The neighbors across the street disappeared three or four days ago, with the occasional visit by a jeep or a SUV to take care of the dogs. Just now they returned, along with the jeep and the SUV and another car and lots of flowers and “it’s a girl” balloons and a tiny little bassinet carrier that, one presumes, has a baby girl in it. My daughter stood with nose pressed against the storm door watching everyone going in. “They had a baby,” I said, and my almost-two-year old went “BAY-BEE!” and I said “It’s a girl” and she said “GURL!”

I watched about eight people, plus the new person, go inside. My daughter went “MOMIEEE! DADDIEEE!” and that effectively named our whole family in town. I don’t really want the babysitters we don’t have. I don’t want to leave my little girl with the teenager across the street and one house over. I want to have family around, in town, a seven digit phone call away. Eight years in Los Angeles had me thinking that wasn’t often anymore in our mobile society – nearly everyone I knew was from somewhere else – but now I know it does still happen, and I sort of feel like I’m missing something.


This was published on 17 Apr 2005.
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