Its Sunday evening and I'm sitting at my computer. There is a huge window next to the computer and with this welcome change in the weather, it is wide open. Its dark out but I can hear the neighborhood children playing in the street. Young voices running and laughing and being children. That wonderfully innocent song of kids enjoying the late summer evening.
This is our second summer in this neighborhood. The evenings are filled with families and life and a busyness that children bring. Our neighbors take to the streets walking or riding bikes. They fill our little park around the corner with kick balls and picnics and running...always with running.
Our old neighborhood was just that...old. And as much as many neighborhoods age with the calming grace of mature trees, tidy yards and charm, ours did not. Oh, we had the trees, but we also had fear, crime and iron bars that foolishly sought to keep out the bad guys. And we had the bad guys. Neighbors who stole your landscaping lights, painted graffitti on your fence and generally disrespected anything that smacked of simple pleasantries. The children played inside and the adults, who weren't prone to thievery and vandalism, were wise to follow suit making me glad we no longer had young children of our own.
Currently, we have a little girl that lives behind us and a few door down. I can her in the mornings if I am in the backyard reading the paper or gardening. Actually, I can hear her wherever I am. You see, she's a screamer. You've heard them; little girls who play at the top of their little lungs. As fate would have it, I was a screamer too. I can remember my mother hollering out the front door, "Kimmy! Stop screaming!" This Little Missy is my Karma and I'm okay with that.
As some people age, they want the quiet and solitude of other older people. They are ready for life at a slow shuffle with kid-free streets. Not Jim and I. We're okay with finding wiffle balls in the bushes and needing to look both ways before backing out of the driveway. And we love the not-so-dulcet tones of a rousing kick ball tourney in front of our house. Heck, we may just join in, but I'll warn the neighbors...I'm STILL a screamer!