The doorbell rang and Scooter scampered ahead of me to answer it. Standing there was our 9-year-old neighbor. He wanted to see if Scooter would like to play. He didn't have anything in particular in mind, so they started out riding bikes in the cul-de-sac.
I did my usual mom thing and went out front to keep an eye on Scooter, trying not to be so obvious as to embarrass him, but knowing that he still lacks some of the balance and awareness that the other kids possess. I chatted for a bit with Scooter's friend's mother and then looked over some plants when she went back inside.
After a bit, Scooter invited his friend to our house to play trains, something they've done a few times in the past couple weeks. I reminded Scooter of the protocol--I had to say it was OK (which I did) and his friend's mother had to be asked too. She has always said OK so far, but I want him to learn the proper steps.
She came out with her son, and the two boys headed in. She asked me about the bus schedule and my experiences. We moved on to gas prices and fuel efficiency. And daycare and errands and any number of things. Trillian came out and joined in the conversation.
And I thought about how nice it was to have that moment, friendly adult conversation outside, kids playing nearby.
I mentioned how much Scooter enjoys playing with her son, both as praise for her son reaching out to a younger kid and as thanks that she lets him come over.
When the neighbor headed back to his house before Scooter's bath, he said something about "maybe tomorrow again." Scooter happily named his neighborhood friends to me as he got ready for bed. It means the world to him--and to me--that the doorbell rang and it was for him.