I'm taking advantage of one of the last, unseasonably cool summer days. I'm sitting on the back deck with my kids happily swirling around me, doing the same thing I'm doing but in a different way. I don't know what to write about...but I am outside and have a moment to write and...something will come to me. I hope.
Oh! Something came to me! Well, not something. Someone. Charlie!
We live in the woods on a secluded lot at the end of a dirt road. When my introvert husband and extrovert me first drove up to the property, we both agreed it was the best place ever to be a kid. It was where we wanted to raise our kids. We live 45 minutes from Washington, DC, but our kids can wade in the creek, build forts, listen to frogs and crickets and quiet. Lots of quiet. Like it or not, there is a whole lot of quiet at our house.
Until the neighbors moved in, that is. On this quiet dirt road we hit the neighbor jackpot a few years ago when a family of six moved in. Three boys and a girl! And they seemed to have moved here not just from another place but a different time period. We met all of the kids before we met the parents...the kids trickled over one by one whenever they wanted. If they heard our kids playing, they came right on over to play, too. They seemed not to have read the small print about calling first, checking with the mom first, property lines, and constant parental supervision.
I loved that they didn't know all those rules.
Don't tell the other three kids, but Charlie is our favorite. Charlie is the second over at his house, but in our house he comes first. My three kids fight over him openly and subtly, competing for his beaming smile and sweet attention. He's older than but still patient with all of them. We all are happy to see him emerge through the woods, trot over "Hay Hill" (the hill that divides our woodsy yards), and smile a hello.
Within minutes, his younger brother and younger sister also rustled their arrival, trotted down Hay Hill, and now I'm watching a pick-up baseball game happen. Their mom texted me to say she's prepping for dinner, so I'm going to send them back as soon as we head inside to eat our dinner. But for right now, there are six kids happily playing ball, with tall trees for an outfield, and little parental supervision,
Summer is sweet. Summer is even sweeter when mixed with great neighbors!