So I’m walking Calvin to school today, and we end up walking with the neighbor and his daughter, who is Calvin’s best friend. While they’re conspiring together, I say to Jack, “So did Christy tell you we lost Kiki yesterday?”

He says, “Oh, yours was the 2 year old?”

“Yes,” I say. Then I ask how he heard about it, since it’s clear his wife didn’t tell him without giving away important details like the fact that it was their neighbor’s kid who they see nearly every day.

“Oh, I heard about it at work.”

Yeah, word spreads quickly, when the apocalypse is nigh.

The thing that is mortifying, but also infinitely reassuring, is that Jack is a police officer. So someone, in those few terrifying moments, made sure to let the local police know that there was a toddler who had gone missing. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were an officer in a vehicle already on the way to the schoolyard by the time we found her. And I wasn’t the one who called.

I love my neighborhood. I love it that everyone on the street knows everyone else, and that we watch out for each other’s kids. Some of us joke about how we live on Sesame Street, since we’ve got a moderate mix of ethnicities, and the mailman gets invited to the kids’ birthday parties. It’s kind of freaky idyllic.