This post and its comments were originally published on Transformation City Church’s blog.
“I had this dream of showing my kids where I grew up,” my sister said. I never thought of showing my kids where I grew up; I never thought of having kids. “Yeah,” I said, as if I had this thought.
“It was such a magical place to be a kid, with the woods and the fort and everything,” She said, then sighed. “But why would my kids care? I hope mom and dad get a good price for it.”
Megan called. Megan doesn’t like the phone because you can’t read facial expressions, whereas I like it for the same reason. So when Megan calls, it’s because she has to. I said bye to my sister and switched over. “Hello?”
“Hi,” she blurted above background noise that was becoming foreground. “Some kids just came over and asked to stay awhile. Would you mind coming down? Ben’s not home yet.”
My eyebrows pressed together like WWE stars and a wrinkle refereed between them. “Yes,” I said, manipulating my inflection into that of a cheerful giver, “I’ll be right down.”
Megan greeted me as I walked in. “They just rang the doorbell and said the police are at their house,” she whispered, “so I said come in. What else could I do?”
At the table, two sisters had opened the older one’s birthday present: a princess crown-making kit, complete with tiny sequins and beads and glitter and other girlie debris. “Wow,” I said, “that’s pretty cool.” The older one looked up at me. “You want to play?” She asked. “No thanks,” I said.
Their 10-year-old brother was in front of the TV, watching Phineas and Ferb and holding Megan’s baby. “Look at you,” I said, “you hold a baby better than I do.” He shrugged and responded, “I always hold my baby sister.” I smiled and shook my head.
At the end of the episode a casual messenger came to the door and said, “the police are gone, ma said come back now,” and left before I could ask for their credentials. I scanned the street. The police were gone and the crowd was going too. “OK guys,” I said, “you can go home now.”
The brother stared at me like he didn’t understand.
“Come on,” I said to the sisters, picking up the princess paraphernalia. “Do you want to keep the box?” I asked. “Yes,” the older one clutched it. On the front there was a picture of a beautiful castle. It looked as though it were built of sand and clouds and glass.