I’m sitting outside in this wonderful gulf coast weather watching the neighborhood kids play in the cul-de-sac. Their voices echo down the street as they laugh and run with each other.

Has it really been almost twenty years since we moved into this neighborhood and my own kids ran and played on this same street? It seems like yesterday that they were learning to ride bikes and losing teeth in skate board collisions. Those were the days when I listened to their arguments and discussions and tried not to intervene unless it was necessary. The days of standing behind the curtains watching so maybe they wouldn’t notice I was watching. The days when I learned that one can have children and still not be a parent.

The days when our house was where everyone would come for mediation or first aid or just to hang out are long gone. Those kids have all grown up and moved on to their adult lives. And I’m left to wonder “Where did the time go?” And “Did I do enough for those kids? Was I a good parent?” I hope so.

All that’s left is for me to enjoy the laughter and the voices as an observer, reliving the memories as a bystander

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