Two people who will be missed from the apartment, not Santa and his missus, but the other Mr. and Mrs. Claus, also known as Milo and Jennifer. It's hard to believe, but the Berkeley Claus' really do live in the apartment directly below ours.
How do we know? First of all, they bear a striking resemblance to their relatives up North. I'm sure they're at least first cousins. See what some tie-dye, sunshine, and illegal substances can do to people. (These aren't really them, but close enough.)
Lucas loves to jump - off chairs, on his bed, or just on the floor. Up and down, all day long. Sometimes he starts his jump-a-thon right when he wakes up. If I'm in the kitchen getting his breakfast ready, he says "Wanna see something cool?" Then he'll jump and twist in the air and fall down on all fours, just to get up and do it again. For all our neighbors' sake, we were trying to limit his jumping, only in the afternoon, or at least to his bed.
One morning, we were downstairs and we run into Miko and Jennifer. Kevin had met them before, but it was a first encounter for me and Lucas.
I was nervous as I saw them approach. I thought they would rant and rave about how we should be more sensitive to our neighbors, control our kid from making so much noise in the morning, or at least give me one of those nasty glares you get sometime when your kid has done something awful to another kid. But at the time, I didn't know who we were dealing with.
After exchanging names, I launched into the Apologetic Mom routine, "Gosh, we're really sorry about all the noise in the morning. Lucas just loves to jump. We're trying to get him to jump on his bed or at least on the carpet...".
Jennifer stopped me, "Oh, no. We love to hear the sound of him jumping! I have 3 nephews and I just love the sound of boys running around having a good time. Asking a little boy not to jump is like asking a bird not to fly. We love to hear him in the morning!"
Miko just stood there, beaming. I think I heard a little laugh, like a "ho ho ho" escape from his bearded face. And ever since then, when I run into him when we're checking our mail, he always asks how "the little guy" is doing.
We will never find neighbors like that again. Only in Berkeley.