We had new neighbors move in caddy corner from us about 2 months ago. I’ve been an ass hole because I haven’t taken the time to go over and meet them. I thought about baking them something but then I’m like, I want them to like us. I thought about taking an orchid over but in some cultures I think it means death so I don’t want to offend, if that’s the case. Eventually I’ll mosey on over there.
Almost daily, there’s a boy about my 13-year-old’s size that is out on there back patio, dribbling a soccer ball like a basketball, shooting at a basketball hoop. I don’t fault him for this as I sometimes call my sons’ uniforms costumes and goals, points. He has 2 other siblings that come outside and occasionally do the same thing.
Last weekend, we were having another wonderful fire outside on our patio. The music was playing in the background, kids were running around once again like Lord of the Flies and fiery marshmallows were being laid on beds of graham crackers and Hersheys (I prefer a Reeses Cup instead of Hershey’s in mine by the way). I looked over to our new neighbors house. Once again, the kid was playing by himself on his patio while we were enjoying a warm July night.
It’s Go Time
“Boys!” I yelled, as the matriarch of this clan. “Get over here!” They obliged.
I began to whisper as they bent their heads down to hear better. “He’s out there alone again,” I said while nodding my head in the neighbor’s direction. “I want you to go over there and invite him over for smores.”
“Yeah! This is it,” my husband chimed in. “This is going to be our connection. Tonight!”
You would have thought we were pumping up football players for victory. Chris began to massage my 9-year-old’s shoulders. I was giving high-fives. We were going to finally meet the new neighbors and it was happening now.
“You got this!” My husband yelled to them as the boys marched into battle. We watched them walk up to the kid.
“Whata ya’ think there saying?” I leaned over and asked my husband. Both of us were watching the exchange like we were in a war room, watching the extraction of a prisoner of war on a screen.
“They’re probably learning each other’s names.” He responded. That was probably it. In just a few seconds, we would have yet another neighbor kid running around with all the other kids. My guess is the Nerf guns would be brought out eventually then flash light tag would commence.
Instead, my sons and their friends turned around and quietly walked back. Chris and I looked at each other, like, what the fuck?
“What did he say?” I asked anxiously and a bit concerned.
“He said,” my son paused with disappointment, “not right now.”
Not right now?
Ummm, what kid says that when another group of kids invites you to join the party? Not right now? That’s something a 35-year-old man says to his parents who just invited him over to brunch. Not right now? That’s what a woman says to her husband when he wants to have sex and she has a headache.
So, I guess I’ll go buy flowers (not an orchid) and introduce myself today. I’ll also offer them a standing invitation to come over whenever there’s a fire going. I guess that’s all we can do.