Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where Did All the Kids Go?
we know there are kids in our neighborhood—we just don't ever see them. the basketball hoops on the sidewalks and bicycles in front of the garages give them away. they've got to be somewhere.
sometimes, as i'm driving to work, i catch glimpses of kids waiting at bus stops. but after school and on weekends? they're nowhere to be seen—at least by their neighbors. they're not playing outside with their basketballs and bicycles, that's for sure. i don't know if it's because they're inside watching tv, or playing organized basketball somewhere else, or participating in after-school activities because their working parents can't pick them up until after 5pm. i hope it's not because they're inside watching tv. and i certainly hope it's not because of any irrational fears. (did you know violent crime in the u.s. is at its lowest level since the 1970s? probably not, if you watch the local news. i decided recently to limit my news intake to NPR's politics podcast because i couldn't take any more of those horrific stories!)
just because other kids aren't playing outside doesn't mean my kids can't. jeff and i are making a conscious effort to get them outside as much as possible, every day, rain or shine. for christmas we installed a big playset in the backyard, with two slides, swings, monkey bars, a little playhouse, and a picnic bench with a tic-tac-toe board—and we're going to get our money's worth, gosh darnit! but seriously, they love being out there.
evie and maddox were outside with jeff until dark tonight, in the rain, and evie got so muddy she had to take her clothes off in the garage before coming inside. it made me so happy. (more importantly, look how happy it made her!) maddox's cheeks were rosy and cold and oh-so-kissable, which made me happy too. but the best part was hearing their little squeals echo through the streets as they played, perhaps getting the attention of some neighborhood kids who were planted on their butts, watching tv.
if evie and maddox don't get the neighbors' attention with happy screams and squeals, we'll be knocking at their doors this spring to introduce ourselves and invite them outside to play. the more kids to play with, the better!
oh, and did i mention getting dirty makes getting clean so much more fun?! (and check out maddy's newest trick: bubble blowing!)