I stand at the open door,
one child – exhausted – with her head on my shoulder
another burning energy and adrenaline
by endlessly circling my legs
like a kite who’s string has been cut.
We’ve stayed too long, had too much fun,
and we all know we’ll pay for it in some measure in the morning,
but this is the very definition
of the long goodbye.
These are not “wave from the door friends”
they are “walk you all the way ‘til the sidewalk ends” friends,
and so we stand at the car, only slightly awkward,
offering hugs and thanks and promises to do this more often.
And we pause before leaving
grasping at the tenuous bonds of friendship
knowing our attention will only become more diverted over time
and these times together will certainly become more rare.
Yet they are precise, nearly priceless moments of perfection
where we strike a careful balance
between reminiscing about the past
and marveling at the future.
So even though six large men and a moving truck
have scrambled our zip codes,
we linger and we promise and we hope
because we are – after all – friends, family, and neighbors still.