A group of about six of my tiniest neighbors―a nine-year-old being the absolute oldest amongst them, a three-year-old being the youngest―just came knocking on my door with giggles and shhhhh‘s. I heard them way before they knocked.
Little one, outside the door, in a whispery shout, “He’s probably ASLEEEEP!”
Another little one, with less whisper and more shout, “No, no, no! Ryan doesn’t go to sleep early!”
Little one, “You don’t know that.”
Other little one, “You don’t either!”
These two were the same ones who had asked me to mediate in an argument they were having in the courtyard earlier today―a debacle that involved one accusing the other one of liking a girl he most adamantly did not, though he probably actually did―when I was on my way to the store. We settled it, by the way.
“Shhhhhhhhh!” Giggles. Movement.
Knock, knock, knock. Ding-dong.
I opened the door and was greeted with smiles, excitement, and all of them speaking, all at once.
Oldest one, a little unsure, “Um…my mom said something about come get…the milk?”
Me, “Oh yeah, hold on.”
I went to the fridge and pulled out a large jug of milk, still in a black plastic bag.
Their conversation with me, and each other, continued as I walked to and from the refrigerator.
I handed the black-bag-covered milk to him, and he realized how heavy it was, but tried to pretend like it was weightless.
We spoke for a few minutes and then they said goodbye and giggled and talked their way back downstairs.
It’s times like those when I love living in community the most.
That wasn’t my milk.
His mom had called me from the grocery store the day before yesterday asking if I had space in my fridge because they were having a great sale on milk. And I did.
And that is the story of the giggly kids and my neighbors’ milk in my fridge.
I needed that. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. It’s nice to be reminded that as bad as it gets, we’re also still ok.