Today a young woman came by to tell me that she was happy to see so much life in our house. Standing next to my driveway, she peered up at me as I was looking out my sons' bedroom window. This soft spoken woman said that she grew up in this house. She spent her whole childhood here. As she looks at the house and yard, she must have so many happy childhood memories circling in her mind. It probably seems like just yesterday when she was running down the driveway, playing hide and seek in the yard or sitting on the front steps on a summer's day. I could tell that she was happy to see how my kids are enjoying their childhood in this house too.
Growing up in New York City, I was an apartment kid. All of us neighborhood kids would gallop down the stairs and make up a whole variety of sidewalk games. We had a blast. I can remember weeks of jump rope competitions, hopscotch mania, hide and seek marathons and street basketball games. I have to say we were good at figuring out things to keep us busy. There were those days where we just hung around on the stoop and watched the cars go by. But that was o.k. too. We always found a way to pass the time together.
My parents would have liked to raise us in a house with a yard. They encouraged us to hopefully someday own our own home. I remember my Dad's smile when he saw my house for the first time. He loved the tall trees and green grass in my front yard. I wish he would have lived long enough to see my kids growing up in this house. I'm so happy that my kids are lucky enough to have a beautiful yard to play in each day. As a city girl at heart, I become a kid again when we chase butterflies, run in the sprinkler and jump in the leaves together. I feel lucky to share these childhood experiences with my kids. On those days when I allow myself to just have fun, it feels like a second childhood when I join in their games. I may be 40 years old, but I can still enjoy being silly as I roll around in the grass with my kids. Does childhood ever have to end? Having kids gives us the chance to have those carefree days to play and laugh again. I think I need to take off the "Mommy in charge" hat sometimes. Mommy has to jump into the action and play and grow with my kids more often. The past 12 years as a mom has really flown by. The next 12 will seem to go faster probably. I want to be a big part of my kids' playtime memories too. It will be fun to pass the piled up laundry hamper some times and run out into the yard with the kids.
There is a lot of things that we still need to explore around my yard. More memories are ready to be made. Just like the young woman who stopped by this morning, I can see my kids coming back here with a smile in twenty years.