Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Rob isn't leaving until tomorrow night or Tuesday morning, but Heather and the kids left yesterday morning. Linnea is 5 and Charlie will be 2 in a month and a half; they lived next door. The kids were crazy about Nat (our 2 year old) and he was crazy about them; we were in each other's houses all the time. Heather grew up in Long Island and Rob in Youngstown Ohio; like me they moved out here to Seattle more or less on a whim. But now that their kids are growing they want to be near family, a motivation I deeply understand but not enough to follow through on -- and it's not solely my decision anyway, obviously.

"Where's Charlie and Linnea moving to?" said Nat.


"Can we walk or can we drive there." Said as a statement, an inflection meaning, *do* we walk or or *do* we drive there, it must be one or the other.

"No, it's too far to walk or to drive."

"Can we go there by airplane?"

"Maybe some day." Unsaid: But it's really unlikely.

And another time, discussing it: "I want move to Boston too."

Our other next-door neighbors hosted a going-away dinner Friday night. Rob told a story. "We were at [some event or other I have forgotten] and they were giving away Krispie Kremes. Linnea had never had a donut, and at the end her face was smeared with sugar from cheek to cheek. She looked up and said, 'That's the best bagel I've ever had in my life!'"

Linnea was a little baby when they first moved in. It took a few years before we started to get to know each other. Heather had a paying job until the 2nd kid came, then she was home with them. My spouse and I work part-time (she 3 days a week, me 4) and stagger our days off. Nat's with a babysitter one day a week and we're all together one day a week. For the last year Heather has been the babysitter and taken Nat on Wednesdays, so he and Charlie and Linnea have become a gang. Like I said, they're crazy about each other.

Saturday morning Nat and I were playing in the alley. I was waiting for noises of their departure. Nat heard Charlie and ran over there and they started playing together like they always do -- *did*, not "do," now -- unconscious of what moving means. Linnea is old enough to know. Nat won't even remember them. I rousted my spouse out of the shower and Heather and my spouse and I cried and hugged and we gave the kids kisses and the kids hugged and kissed each other and a few minutes later they were gone.
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