I sit and listen to the laughter, the sounds of happiness bouncing off the concrete, surrounding me, echoing all around me as I sit in the darkening driveway. The laughter washes over me and brings a smile to my face, tears of joy pricking the corners of my eyes.
“Yes, this is right. This is good” – The feeling I have while listening to them manifests itself into words that wrap around my heart, as it does I release the anxiety and nerves in one long exhalation and my whole body relaxes.
It takes mere hours for my children to be whisked into the gaggle of kids on our new street. The doorbell rings, the front walk littered with bikes and scooters, my children’s eyes alight with hope, excitement and possibility. New people, new friends, new adventures.
A home where they can run out the front door and play for hours after-school, a home in a neighborhood where parents grill in their driveways so they can be around their neighbors, watch their kids playing for hours, and even join in with the kids tossing a ball, chasing a bike, pulling a wagon, blowing bubbles or creating artwork with sidewalk chalk.
My kids see a group of kids playing in the street and the only worry in their minds is if I’m going to make them change out of their school clothes before going out to join in the fray, and how long it will take them if I do.
I sit tonight and listen to their voices echoing and bouncing all around me, the laughter, the shouts of joy… they sink into my soul and bring peace.
I hear the neighborhood adults in the driveway next door laughing, joking, talking as they watch the kids play.
This is their norm, and our new beginning.
I sit on the tailgate of our truck in the waning light and tears of joy slip down my cheeks, and the laughter, the pure happiness of a childhood being lived wraps itself around my heart and I know.
We are home.