out front

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Lately the weather has been amazing.
Which means I usually curse when I pull into the drive.
Because after a long day I want nothing more than to go inside. Shed my grown up clothes. Put away the mail. Eat something. Check real email and facebook and google reader and turn on the tv and decompress before starting dinner and baths and stories and games of CandyLand.
But, I have hardly seen my couch in the last few weeks.
I’m sure it misses me because I miss it.

Instead before I even have my seatbelt unbuckled my son is out of the car, has his shoes and socks off (and sometimes even his shirt and pants) and is halfway down the street on his wiggle car. Or in the neighbors bounce house or is spraying his sister down with the water hose.

For my son’s 2nd birthday we bought him this great swingset-slide-fort for the back yard. My husband and his dad (Grumps) spend hours and hours putting it together for my little ones sliding pleasure. My backyard is amazing. Quarter of an acre easy with lots of big open space to play. We have a hammock and a big deck and roses that always seem to be in bloom, nice big shade trees, a mini soccer goal and a sand box.
But we almost never play there.

Instead my kids play in the street.
Because that’s where everyone else is.

They run through yards and in and out of garages and trample on other peoples flowers.
Toys and bikes and scooters and trampolines and pop-ices are all kind of communal on our street. Some days there are 2 kids out. Some days there are a dozen.
But from about April to October I spend a lot of quality time sitting on the curb, chatting with the neighbors, applying sun screen and kissing skinned knees.

In the front yard. There is no couch. No TV and it is even pretty hard to see the computer screen.
Instead I am present. I am catching frogs and foul balls and playing duck duck goose.
The days are longer. We eat later. And we take drinks from the hose. And I get very little done.

Sometimes I jog around the neighborhood and wonder where everyone else is. Why it is so quiet. Why most other streets don’t look like mine. Covered in sidewalk chalk and discarded scooters.

I guess they are all in the backyard.
And it is their loss.


samskat said...

I grew up in a neighborhood like that...and am still friends with those kids today!! Nothing cements a friendship like skinned knees and black feet.... ;)