The kids now have kids next door

4 mins read


My husband and I are both middle-children. We grew up with older sisters and younger brothers, although I had more of both.

Our older sisters constantly tormented us. There were the annoying practices like poking us in the waist while riding in the car.

“Mom, she’s poking me.” 

“No, I wasn’t!” 

“Yes, she was.” 

And so, we learned how to torment our younger brothers and sisters. 

We also learned how to act innocent when the younger kids went running to our parents. 

“Who me? What did I do? I was just sitting here watching TV.”

It was during our courtship that my spouse and I discovered our mutual “Middle Child” status and started to revert to our own childish middle-child shenanigans. 

Now, at this point in our lives, we have taken it to a new level.

This brings me to our current dilemma. Last year, after my friend and neighbor Sally died, the house sat vacant for a while, and we began to take our childish behavior, which had formerly been restricted to the house or car, to the outdoors. 

On top of our antics, we started to yell at the dog to get in the house, scream at deer to stop eating the flowers, and occasionally venture out in our skivvies on the back porch. It has been glorious to act like kids with no parental controls and no one screaming at us saying “You two kids knock it off!”

But Sally’s house has been sold and the children, the two of us, will have to take our behavior back into the house. Our first indication was a week or so ago when we had just come back from a sail. The current was rushing, and the wind was howling and by the time we got to the dock, we were advising one another on to the execution of the landing.

The conversation went like this:

Him: “Get the forward spring line tied.”

Me: “You are not the boss over me.”

Him: “Big deal! Boss over nothing.” 

You get the idea.

This continued for several minutes until I realized there were people walking towards the house on Sally’s dock.

The prospective new owners, no doubt. 

I was horrified, knowing they had heard us. When Bill, Sally’s son came by to say his goodbyes, I told him about our “middle child” banter and was concerned that they may have heard us.

He told us not to worry. 

“Besides,” he said, “there is nothing better than to hear kids laughing, even if they are senior citizens.”

So welcome to the neighborhood, new neighbor. 

The kids next door are going to try to behave. 

But if you hear laughter, it is just us playing.

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