“We have lived in our house for over 5 years now. We have two little boys, Liam (7) and Luca (3). The house next to us sat vacant for over 3 of those 5 years. In a way, we hoped it would always stay that way. We like our space. One day, the dreaded moving truck was parked outside. We were finally getting new neighbors. We did what every honest and nosy person would do and watched from a second-story window as items were moved into the house. I took out the trash to ‘investigate.’
‘There’s a car seat in the van parked out front. They at least have one kid,’ I told my husband. A few days went by and we would do an awkward wave in passing. Later, my husband told me he finally spoke to the father who lived there. ‘So apparently, they have a 7 and a 3-year-old like us.’
‘NO WAY!’ I said back to him. ‘How is that possible? Boys?’
‘I don’t know? I don’t remember what he said.’ (How do men never retain details.)
A few more days pass and while I was loading my kids into our car… the two seven-year-olds made eye contact. They stood there, silently staring like it was some sort of old western stare-off. I said, ‘Say hello, buddy.’
Liam: *waves awkwardly*
A few more days passed and the new neighbors arrived home one day to find us drawing with sidewalk chalk. (Hello, COVID19 boredom.) The kids started piling out of the neighbor’s van. A 7-year-old boy, a 3-year-old boy, and a 1-year-old girl. Instantly, my never shy 3-year-old ran up to them.
Well, if we were going to be social with each other… now is the time. Thanks, Luca.
Days pass… weeks pass… We learned the two 7-year-olds are only 2 days apart. The two 3-year-olds are 1 month apart.
‘This is insane,’ I told their mother. ‘What are the chances!’
In a matter of a couple of months, our kids had built-in best friends only 100 yards away. They play every day. They run the cul-de-sac and play cops and robbers. They sword fight with sticks and have scooter races. They laugh and look out the window waiting for the other to come out and play. In a matter of a month, our children’s childhood changed for the better.
After some more time together, Michelle (their mother) and I realized we both share a love for photography. She had the idea of capturing their newfound friendship through a Lost Boys photoshoot down by the river. As you can imagine, the boys played just as hard as they would any other day and we were able to capture beautiful memories of their little brotherhood.
In 2020, I never thought my children would get to run the neighborhood or play until the street lights came on. I didn’t think there would be endless sleepovers or campouts in the backyard. But during a time of quarantine, a time of loneliness and fear, our boys met their forever friends. Quickly, COVID 19 became a thing of the past for their little hearts and minds and ‘Can I go play with Uriah?’ became the new most asked question in our house.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chelsey Norris. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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