Our windows heave under the weight of our 4th of July fireworks and yet, it’s August 15th…more than a month late.
I secretly dislike fireworks and bouncy houses and large crowds of people gathered in football fields, all eyes staring at the sky.
The kids have bounded down the stairs twice, each time trying to convince the Man and I that we are about to have a huge thunderstorm.
We have smiled and nodded and shooed them back to bed, both times, never letting them in on our secret:
The great city of Rocky Mount is shooting off scores of fireworks less than a mile from our house and we have chosen to sit out the festivities.
Losers, we are.
And old and tired and disenchanted with our place and our people and tired. Did I already say that???
At 5:08 tonight, while the baby and I were swinging on the porch swing and the other 37 kids from the neighborhood were swinging from the trees in the backyard, I had a moment that I thought I would take to my grave.
But you guys are in luck.
I am choosing to share it here with you because, it’s Thursday night/Friday morning and well, you might just need a laugh.
You might even need a reason to thank Jesus that you do not live on Avent street.
But I digress…
At 5:08, the baby and I were just swinging on the porch swing, minding our own business, listening to the crazies swinging from the tree limbs in the backyard, when a couple of girls caught our eye.
They were dressed in sweat pants and tank tops, rolling bicycles out of the front door of their house, just a few doors down.
The baby looked at me and I looked at her and she shrugged her shoulders at me as if to say, “Whatever.”
We pumped our legs to keep our swing going and we watched the two girls ride their bikes down the middle of the street. You need to know that anytime after 5 in the afternoon is a perilous time to be in the middle of the street in our neighborhood. You WILL get run down.
Or at least chased off the road.
The two girls bobbed and weaved all the way down the street, missing 1 stray dog, a pile of leaves sprouting oak trees from the acorns that winter’s squirrels planted, and 2 cars. And then, wonder of all wonders, we watched them both cut across the sidewalk into OUR yard.
Did you read that correctly?
Into. OUR. Yard.
Both girls, jumped the curb, on their bikes, in SOCK feet and do-rags, and drove right across the soggy patch of grass that I like to call the YARD, and kept driving, all the way to my backyard-
The place where we have a PRIVACY fence and a fire pit and a deck and a tree house and 37 neighborhood children swinging from the trees.
My mouth dropped open, my chin hit my chest, and I watched these girls, all do-ragged up and audacity stricken, ride pretty as you please, right through my yard.
But y’all, I have to tell you truth. It wasn’t that they drove across my lawn in do-rags and sock feet that made my mouth drop open.
It was their GIRLS.
You know what I’m talking about.
These two girls, rode their GIRLS, all the way across my yard and never once looked my way.
They jumped my curb, rode into my yard, right past the porch swing where me and my girl held our mouths open at the sight of their 2 sets of GIRLS, and drove right into my backyard. I mean, some things are best left to bras and ace bandages, and these girls had never been introduced to either.
I blinked about 37 times to make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing, and much to my chagrin, I was really seeing what I was seeing. The baby looked at me, one more time, and I looked at her, my eyebrows raised into my hairline, and I smiled.
And then I laughed.
The only thing that would have made me laugh even harder would have been if their GIRLS had actually jumped out of their tank tops and hit the handlebars on their bikes.
I had a fleeting moment of jealousy. (Fleeting, y’all. Like maybe 10 minutes. Or maybe 30 minutes.)
I have lived here on Avent street for 18 months now, and just when I think I’ve seen it all, God does something wildly unpredictable and I am jolted back into the real world.
Right smack dab in the middle of HIS world, this place that He loves…
This place where He is dancing and moving and drawing people to Himself.
And y’all, I get a front row seat.
And sometimes a laugh.