Not long ago, our-across-the-street neighbor came knocking on our door. Now this was one of those lazy, nobody got dressed days. A knock on the door sends everyone scrambling for cover so they are not spotted in their jammies at five in the afternoon on days like that. But when I saw who it was, I didn't mind. She's caught me in jammies taking out the trash before.
She's all smiles as I open the door, fighting Marco the whole time not to topple her over.
"Would you like an air hockey table?"
The across-the-street neighbor's boys are all grown up now. A few years back, their youngest son built a small bike ramp in the driveway and then he was out there all day, everyday, all summer going over it and over it and over it. The thump thump of the ramp was the soundtrack of that summer.
One Christmas, long ago, Santa brought those neighbor boys an air hockey table. Santa did good that year. It was a big hit and saw many, many years of fierce play. But since the boys have moved out, its just become a storage table.
"We were trying to think about who we could give it to and then we remembered you. You always have a house full of kids over here."
"It's still works great. It's a full sized table. It's really heavy though."
"You could put it right there!"
Right there was the big open spot in my living room. When the Christmas tree comes home, the Playstation situation goes to The Boy's room. When the tree left, the Playstation didn't come back down this year. Thus, we have a great big open space in the living room. Strangely enough, air hockey table sized.
"So what do you think?"
There was a tiny cough behind me. The door to the steps opened a crack. "Say yesssss!", a voice hissed.
So I said yes.
It was pretty grimy, but Magic Eraser got it looking bright and shiny again.
My elbow hurts.