Reality is sinking in tonight. A family living next door in the duplex for the last 3 years has moved away. When I saw the U-Haul yesterday parked in front of the house, I had to face the fact that, yes, they were really moving. Mom is pregnant with their 4th and a two-bedroom, half-a-duplex just doesn't cut it anymore. We are best friends. All of us. The whole family with our family. They are a young couple, but so easy love and cherish.
When they bought the duplex 3 years ago, I assumed they would live elsewhere and rent it out. But that next weekend, the U-Haul pulled up and they became our neighbors, the best neighbors in a neighborhood that was already filled with wonderful friends
This family is so special. I met The Boys first, a 4 year-old and 2 year-old. They spotted the big sandbox in my yard one morning when they were hanging on the fence. I invited them over, but they had to ask Mom or Dad first. Mom came over to introduce her family. We were exchanging names and ages when Daniel looked up to ask his mom what he should call me. Mom suggested a Mrs. or Ms. would be the most respectful. I told her that was too formal; my first name would be OK. Little Caleb, who could hardly say but 10 words, blurted out, "Miss Deb!" and we all agreed that would be perfect. Now there is a 3 year-old sister, a little chatterbox, and she always calls me, "Mom, I mean, Miss Deb."
We got everything moved into their new home located in a little town south of here. It is actually faster to drive to their new home than it takes to drive up north in Ames. But the easy access is gone. Many mornings when I was on break from school, I would call over and ask if The Boys wanted to come over for pancakes and Legos. Boy, they'd come arunnin'. PJ's, slippers and robes flying out behind. Breakfast at Miss Deb's was always a treat.
When Mom told me they bought a house, I knew it was coming, but a cried. I couldn't not cry. I am not an official grandma; not yet, thank god! But I have enjoyed the "grandma-like" experience over these last few years. We take bike rides, do weenie roasts and some-mores in the backyard, and spend hours building sandcastles in the sandbox. We hang when Mom and Dad need a night out. And they always run for me when they see me come home in the car, or on the bike after class. They taught me to play Super Mario Cart on the Wii, although there have been a few times when Daniel has taken the control away from me because I could not keep the cart on the track. "That's OK, Miss Deb, you can just watch!"
I am not sure how this is going to work, not having them in my life daily. I know they are not that far away, but they are a world away tonight. Before I know it, they will be a head taller, a grade further in school, have a new sister, and all new friends that I don't know.