Monday, April 29, 2013

Making New Neighborhood Friends

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
   We're out front a lot, doing all the things that go with it. The kids play, ride, dig, and so on, while I work on stuff in the garage. It's really only been in the last two or so years, as the previous two places we lived have been at the bottom of a hill the made it feel like we lived along the Indy 500. Thus we've been very grateful to not only have a wonderful street that we live on now, but we also have a lot of children in the neighborhood that come out to play also.
   So the story goes that I'm in the garage doing stuff, ...manly stuff, like hammering and cutting wood, etc. I hear the typical yelling and screaming that accompanies child play, and think nothing of it. Then my ear picks up what sounds like our little group shouting to another. I wander out and my 'Lil Miss is shouting across the street to no one, "You with the swing set! Hello!!!" I smile and dismiss it, as I've heard children playing in that backyard before. We've even waved at them when they're up in the clubhouse looking over the fence. After going about my "manly" garage business, my interest in the result the shouting makes me wander back out. I see what is in the above photo taking place.
   At first I want to bark, like an old man, to get down. Then I remember what The Wife has reminded me lately. That I was young once too, and used to climb WAY more than a simple fence and small tree (that's the confession post that will never be written). It was adorable to see our little crew meeting a new one. They said hi, made introductions, and then the new friends were up the tree and back over the fence. I then encouraged my 'Lil Miss to come on down so there were no injuries. She had a smile and skip to her step as she and her brother and friend ran off. You could see the excitement of a new friend and that fact that they were boys that were,...well...nice.
   It took me back to my childhood, when making friends was easy. There was less about specific interest and even less opinions that were already formed. There was just the desire to play, have fun, and dream up the next adventure. I think that's half the reason we get out as much as we can. The playing with and making of new friends. I'm seeing my little ones learning the essentials of social life. They're learning to take turns, share, get up after falling down, and so on. They're recently taken up hunting for caterpillars and butterflies in the past week or so. It's fun to watch and fun to remember. Do you have any fun neighborhood stories?


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