Still Waters: Laughter in the neighborhood


I heard laughter outside in the street, children’s laughter. It was a good sound.

I looked out front to see grandkids of my neighbor across the street playing with each other and children at my relatively new neighbor next door playing in their yard.

All of the “kids” who were young when I moved in so many years ago are grown, now with kids of their own. It was nice to see children in the neighborhood again. It was good to see them outside playing instead of cooped up inside in front of a keyboard or some other device.

It just felt right to hear kids laughing. Whatever’s wrong with the world, and there’s plenty, there’s still something right with it when we can still hear kids laughing and still see them playing childhood games.

Life will get “real” soon enough for them. For now, they can play.

Louise has always kept our neighborhood young, first with her boys and then their kids, and youngsters she cares for. And Teresa across the street has had grandchildren coming and going since her own kids grew up and started families of their own. Mom’s place is always still the house to go back to for family gatherings.

It’s good to see children in the neighborhood. It makes me feel a bit more alive myself to hear children laughing. There’s no better antidote than children’s laughter, pure, unpretentious and innocent.

I’m past middle age and my dog is way past, but I think even though she probably tells the children off, she enjoys watching them play. Perhaps she remembers when she was younger and played with the boys in her previous home. Who knows what an old pup remembers?

I know she hasn’t been very happy that I have shut the door at night so it doesn’t get too cold before I come home. She would rather I leave it open 24/7 so she can go out not only when she needs to but also when she wants to …
… just to hear the children laughing.

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