“Home Sweet Home” and “It takes a village” are the real deal in my neighborhood. I am writing this from my usual spot on my front porch, and I often chuckle a little when I look at the houses beside and in front of me where I name my neighbors “Dan, Dan, Scott, and Scott”. I don’t think I could do this single mama gig without the middle Dan and Scott (and Scott’s wife, Amanda); just this week alone I’ve had help trying not to kill the freshly laid sod now in place from when I ripped out my garden on a whim (I may or may not be known to be impulsive) and I needed some major rescuing when a baby copperhead decided to try and take up residence in my driveway (hell no!). But the thing about our little piece of West Asheville, is that we all give back to each other and we genuinely care about one another.
My daughter is especially tight with these two beautiful beings who live next door and belong to the first Dan (and his amazing partner, Sadi, who I adore). We’ve known these kiddos their whole lives and honestly seeing them get so big is a reality check of how fast time really is flying. Olivia, now almost 15, was so excited to have the opportunity to be their babysitter, and in true Olivia fashion, she took this quite seriously. That seriousness included but was not limited to doing her own research and signing up for the Babysitter Certification at the local Red Cross…so no choking on Cheerios! Sweet! She’s been babysitting for them for a few years now, and the other Saturday was one of those times. During this time my son was in a Fortnite trance (yes, there is a pattern of that and I swear the psychology behind what it does to kids likely has a pharmaceutical equivalent), so to decrease my boredom, I grab my camera and hop to the neighbor’s back yard for a few minutes and this is what my eyes saw.
So, M is the older one meaning that he has had my camera pointed at him for longer than his sister has, and clearly B isn’t quite sure what Olivia’s mom is doing with said camera following her every move. Just like any time shooting hesitant kids (or adults for that matter), showing them the image on the back of the camera often provides enough information that can allow them to go with it….usually. I’m not sure B was having any of it, but she still managed to play and give me looks like I often see my teenagers throw my way.
Soon enough, I was old news and more important things, like the slide (and pushing your sibling off the slide because they weren’t moving fast enough) took their attention. After about ten minutes of being there, mostly in the shade, this 42 year old and her hormones were ready to find the air conditioning again. This little visit to the first Dan’s backyard gave me a few images to quickly edit so that when B and M’s parents arrived home from their date, they had a gallery of what they missed (or at least what they weren’t there for, they were off enjoying some craft beer without children around), and I also was able to act like I cared that my son’s new Fortnite skin that he acquired while I was gone was “so awesome, mom!”. (insert massive eye roll.) Moral of the story: I love my street and I truly love my neighbors (except for one, he’s a real piece of work!), and this was a random slice of a Saturday afternoon.