You know what you rarely hear when you live in a 55-plus place. The voices of children.
I like to hear kids playing outside. At home in Washington, we have about eight neighbor kids who play together when the weather is good. They shriek and giggle and run from imaginary burglars and shout as they descend a slide into a pool of water. They tattle and argue and whine. I love listening to them through my open window. I remember the long days of my own childhood and those of my children.
My next door neighbors Jennie and Jason and their children Kaela and Jesse are my special friends. Baby Elsa was added to their family just before we left for the winter. When we get home on Wednesday evening I may walk over to hear the voices of these children and exclaim over how much they've grown in the last three months and how Elsa is nearly crawling and has some hair now. I have missed that texture of our lives.
I am thinking of our grandchildren - four teenagers and a six-year-old. I haven't heard their voices in a while. I see the teens' posts on Facebook from time to time and I read about the first grader's first report card. I miss those voices especially.
I'm reminded about these voices by the children visiting the Sedona timeshare resort where we've spent the last six days. Usually we come here in the winter, when it's colder and the trees are bare and the kids are in school. This year we chose the week between our departure from our winter home in Tucson and our four-day drive home. It's spring break, and we've seen children here, from toddlers to teenagers. We can hear the smaller ones playing by Oak Creek and in the courtyard. We see the teens stroll by with their giant sodas, casual in their shorts and summer tops and bright hair. I remember spring break!
I like the voices of the children. All the voices.