It's a gloriously summer-feeling spring evening and the setting sun has filled the street with golden light. There are five -- no, six, seven? I can't keep count, they're moving too quickly -- little boys playing in the quiet suburban neighborhood. Basketballs fly back and forth, squirt guns are deployed, somebody has a double-bladed plastic lightsaber and is making that bszzzzew, bszzzzew sound. My 8-year-old runs by with a neighbor boy, my 6-year-old is giggling with his younger cousin. They're filled with so much electric joy, it's pouring off them in visible waves.
I'm sitting with the adults, watching this scene unfold. It's a suburban dream: kids playing, grownups chatting, everyone just a few steps from their own home. I'm thinking about our own neighborhood, and how it's nothing like this.