Staying Sane: More new friends


Saturday is a day that I get to wake up late and enjoy a day getting things done while I wait for the kids. They are with co-parent until I see them at 4 PM.  This Saturday AM I spent my time cleaning up my front yard and planting about 50 bulbs for the Spring – but that is a story for another time.

During this planting, I had the opportunity to meet some kids who were walking their dog Hershey. They usually don’t walk this way in front of my house, but they were on this day because their dog is new to their family. Rescued from a dog pound 2 days before he was about to be put to “rest”.

I learned that they were the neighbors at the end of the street whom I did not yet meet. Two boys, ages 11, 7, and a girl, age 6. I had fun with Hershey and talking with them. I guess I don’t mind talking to kids when I am solo since it is in my nature now to talk to kids since I have so many. Anyway, they asked about my kids and they asked why they weren’t around until 4 PM. I explained that they were with their Dad and that they have “two houses” and that they spend time with me, and they spend time with their dad. How they have two rooms, two sets of books, two sets of toys, etc. (my normal explanation about the separation).   Usually this story works out well since I end with “two sets of toys”. But this was the first time I was talking with a sort-of older kid – and that’s when the 11-year old told his siblings “yeah she’s talking about Divorce. When things don’t work out.”…..

Anyway, I told them that the kids would be at my house at 4 PM and ready to ride bikes. So for them to come back. They walked off with their dog and I continued with my yard.

*****

At 4:02, the new kids came back, with their bikes. They were waiting to meet my kids. The van pulled up. My kids came out and met the “new kids” (it’s so ironic since the “new kids” have actually lived on that block all of their lives, and WE are the family of the “new kids”). Big Bro got out immediately and started riding. Red was a little bit apprehensive, since these were older kids, who ride fast. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were anxious to get their bikes and get going!  Twin Husky helped me put out the traffic cones in the street. The kids next door were calling out through the window that they were coming out too. The kids across the street were getting their bikes out and helmets on. The boys up the hill were coming down with their bikes with their mom who had a margarita in a cup. And then the 6-year old twins from way up the hill were seen to be coming down with their bikes and their shark and fish helmets. The fun began…

Kids on bikes. Kids running from house to house. Kids on the tree swing next door in the front yard.  Big Bro coming out with some balls to kick in the street. Big Bro wanting a snack so I went in and got Ritz Crackers and asked him to bring out the entire box for everyone to share. I asked him to ask everyone if they wanted any… and he did – such a good host and such a “giver”. The neighbors congregated on my stoop. Some had never met since there are new folks here. I met the parents from the corner house. Some disappeared and came back with bottles of wine. Boys were running from house to house. Red just wanted to be an acrobat on me. Twins were riding bikes. Big Bro hit it off with the “new kid” who is 7.   Everyone looking out for cars and having the kids pull over when one would drive by, very slowly, just looking at all of the people/kids in the street and maneuvering through the “kids at play” signs and my traffic cones with flags.

As far as we know, we have 21 children ages 11 and under on this block.  And we had 19 of them out this past Saturday night with their parents congregated on the stoop of my house.  The only ones that I have not yet met are a family with 2-year old twins (more twins!!) who are hosting a Halloween party for everyone on Halloween night.

All kids were going non-stop – and then the sun started to go down and families started to separate. I wound up with some stragglers at my place as I cooked dinner. I didn’t mind.

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*****

The next day, Sunday, Big Bro went over to “the new kids'” house to play wall-ball. And then after lunch I had 4 extra neighborhood kids in my house along with the dog, Hershey. In the late afternoon, I took my kids back to co-parent’s house. And then when I was alone, there was a knock on the door and it was the “new” kids again, boy aged 7 and girl aged 6, and Hershey. Again it was hard for them I guess to understand that even though I was there, my kids were not. They are only at this house some of the time. But now at least they know that we live in this house and that the four kids are here every Saturday starting at 4 PM.

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****

I love how Big Bro just hit it off with these new kids – especially how in the past he was so shy. I love how welcoming in general children are. I love how they see fun in each other and how quickly the activities can change when so many kids are getting together. I remember nights like this as a kid. I am happy that I can give these experiences with my kids now and that we, together, get a chance to explore these new beginnings together.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

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