Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gatherings

About 2 years ago when I noticed that there were gads of children in the neighborhood that all started playing together, I prayed that ours would NOT be the house where they gathered. Olivia was too young to really care and happy enough to stay in our yard and amuse herself. Last year she began to overcome her "slow-to-warm-up-ness" and would play with the kids next door every now and then. It was great. We'd send her over the fence or up the street for an hour or so and just chill with the babies. It was very relaxing.
Fast forward...Spring 2008...
It's warming up and the creatures are crawling out of the woodwork. And boy have things changed! Our yard has become the gathering place. It all started on Friday. Several kids from the neighborhood just hopped the fence and started playing in the yard. There were about 7 of them. They played here for a few hours before everyone retreated home for dinner and bed. It continued on Saturday. After we came home from OG's soccer practice, we put the babies for a nap, I went food shopping and Cindy started yard work while OG played in the yard. I returned about an hour later to find several children running around our yard. By early afternoon, there were 13 children other than our own running around. And they never left. Well, not until 8 PM when we dragged Olivia and her 2 friends in for the night. Our friend, Heather, and her twin boys came for a sleepover. So we all bathed, put on PJ's and watched a movie. It was great.

In the end, it made me really happy that all these kids feel safe and love to play here in our yard. I'm not sure, however, why they like to be here because I'm quite sure I'm the "meanest" mom on the block. I make them all throw away their garbage and juice boxes after snacks. I do not allow bad language. They may not hit, push, fight over toys, say "shut up" or scream. And I insist on taking tuns and sharing. I am not afraid to hand out timeouts like candy and I watch them like hawks. Still, they all have such a good time and keep coming back. Go figure.

Sunday was the block party. We didn't have as big a turnout this year as in years past, but the 15 families that came had a blast. I had chalk and street paint for the littler ones. We brought out the sprinkler and they went wild. And the big finale...the firetruck. The firemen bring the truck and hats for the kids every year and they never tire of it. This year we got a great shot of all of them on the truck.

Olivia had a really hard day. She was overtired and kept falling. She got a blister on both heels from the red sparkly shoes she insisted on wearing when the party started and her knees took a beating when she took a dive on the street running to get to the firetruck. But it didn't keep her from getting in the pictures. After some hugs and kisses from her moms and her 2 BFF's, and 2 very big bandaids, she was ready to pose, pout and all.


7 comments:

K J and the kids said...

SUPER cute pictures. It sounds like a chaos of wonder and excitement. I'm sure the kids LOVED it.

Poor Olivia. Her knees look like they hurt :(

I hope she's feeling better. I remember this stage. OH WAIT, we are still going through it.
It's hard to justify putting them in skirts and dresses because they look like beat up boys from the knees down :)
It just means she's having LOTS of fun !
kiss to the family.

Babykins said...

Pics so cute OG with BFF's. What a trooper. No wonder the kids like your yard, such cool stuff to do.

hotomiky said...

Wow! - Looks fun with all chaos of kids! :o)

Give our kisses to Oliva's knees!

Who cares what others ppl think of you... Think of yourself and do what you think is the best for our kids and your yard :o)

Tammy said...

Looks like lots of fun! Those are some major league Band-Aids! We have them at our house but ours had to have Sponge Bob on them!

Holly said...

Wonderful pictures! I love that your house is the gathering place! I think I would love that.

Looks like a great weekend overall!

Stef said...

Cute cute cute. Ihope that our house is the house the kids go to. !! But, we live in old fogey ville and our litle one is the only child on our street.

KellyBelly said...

Wow - I wish you lived closer so I could send my kids over for an afternoon of 'safe' fun with you!! Give those knees a kiss :)