Growing up, I was the oldest kid in my neighborhood by a couple of years. There were only a few other families with kids around as we lived in an older neighborhood. A couple of kids were three years younger than me, a couple were five or six years younger than me, one was nine years younger than me. The closest kid my age – my best and oldest friend, and my maid of honor both times I was married, she is awesome – lived three and a half blocks down the street. While that wasn’t exactly far away, the situation didn’t exactly lend itself to easy visitation, either.
After my mom passed away, my dad used some of the life insurance money to replace our sidewalk (which really wasn’t sidewalk so much anymore as it was part of the yard) and to build a garage. One day when I was eleven, my sister and I and the aforementioned best friend were riding our bikes around the newly-poured driveway and garage foundation (the garage had not yet been built). One of the neighbor kids wandered over and wanted to play with us. She and my sister were pretty good friends, even though my sister is four years older. My sister has a talent for making friends – I think she was good friends with every kid in our neighborhood at one point or another.
Anyway, we decided that we didn’t want to play with her that day. As a rule, I never wanted to play with this particular girl as she always kind of got on my nerves. But how many people always love all their siblings’ friends? Anyway, since we didn’t want to play with her, we told her to go home.
This didn’t go over very well. At all.