We are standing outside. Silas, with his long skinny legs and knobbed knees, walks off the bus and throws his arms around my waist. Maeve sits on my shoulders, my hands around her small warm body, balancing her there. The afternoon's become overcast, a scrim of clouds suggesting rain and stirring a breeze. Eden and I walk barefoot on the warm concrete. She stops, kneels down to the grass and digs -- "Look, Mom! A grub!" She holds up a dirt-smudged C on her palm.
The neighbor across the street waters his thick damp grass and smiles at us. He raised his girls in that house and now they are grown. How quickly, it seems, we may be standing in our yard outside an empty house, watching the young family who's moved in across the street walk down the sidewalk chattering, a pack of elbows and backpacks, dragging jackets as they go.