Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Taste of Summer (UGH!)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge. Others just gurgle.

I had a taste of Summer two days ago. I’m writing about it now because it’s still bothering me. Why, you ask? Because summers around my house can be, well, a bit…hectic. After school two days ago, the sun was out and it was almost 80 degrees, and I had no less than four neighbor kids over, (seven kids total) they all wanted snacks, one of them kept running home crying because she wasn’t getting “played with” evenly, and then she kept running back, only to run right home crying again (this happened several times before she finally had to go to soccer practice, thank HEAVEN) and add in one very excited puppy into the mix, and let’s just say I was VERY glad when it was suppertime and they all went home.

When I was growing up, my neighbor, (let’s call her “Shirley”) had the house that EVERYONE wanted to play at. Neighborhood kids flocked from far and near to play at Shirley’s house, because her (slightly spoiled) daughters had literally every girl toy known to man, she had the biggest house on the block (hence the coolest) and she had an unlimited supply of yummy snacks, which we asked for unabashedly the moment we got to her house, and then on the hour, every hour, afterward. And she would always give them to us.
We would play at her house literally all day long, and when we weren’t playing over, we’d hang on the fence dividing our yards and stare wistfully over into her backyard, regardless of who was over there or what was going on. (I’m still slightly mortified that my parents allowed this, perhaps they were busy cleaning or something and never noticed that their children were gaping over at Shirley’s Garden Party guests, like attention-starved urchins. Some of the guests even took pity on us and gave us food over the fence!)

...But I digress. Now it seems, I am paying for all the turmoil I put poor Shirley through, because my house seems to be the one the neighborhood kids want to play at, because we have a “fun” backyard, we’re centrally located in the neighborhood, and what can I say, my kids are cool! *wink*
But now, as I think hard and look back, Shirley always seemed to be annoyed and unsmiling, and last summer, it officially dawned on me why: we, the neighborhood kids, were eating her out of house and home. And we allowed her no privacy or solace. No wonder she seemed so cheerful when it was time to send us home!
I can relate to Shirley, because my house, at the height of the summer, can have up to NINE kids playing in the yard at once, and they ALL want snacks, they ALL want juice, and like Shirley, I’m too polite to tell them to get their skinny little butts home and bug their mommies (who are probably sitting blissfully on the sofa in their living rooms taking advantage of the silence I’m providing and watching Oprah) to give them a snack from their own cupboards.

Not that I’m bitter or anything, but I now KNOW why Shirley sometimes acted short with us, and I feel for her, because the torch has been passed. Now I’m Shirley. Guess it all boils down to Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around, you name it. But there it is.
It’s going to be a long, looooooong summer, to be sure.

2 comments:

B. K. Birch said...

I hear ya. Every day when we get home the phone starts ringing, and soon there are at least 10 kids in our back yard.

I purchased one of those big tacky orange coolers with the dispenser at the bottom and dixie cups. My kids have orders to stay outside unless they have to use the bathroom. It never fails though - this one kid ALWAYS plugs up the toilet.

Have fun.

Brenda

Michelle Miles said...

Lara, you're the Kool-Aid mom. I think that's awesome. :) Good luck this summer and don't be afraid to send those kids home - my mom never was. hehe