This week Ted had Parkour camp (!) while the little ones hung out with me. We had a very relaxing week, full of literacy, frozen yogurt, pool time and bike rides. Paul has a new routine of biking to the park and doing soccer drills while the kids play. It's a nice way to start the day.
We have been in our new house over a year now. It is a small house, but one we are very much enjoying. The location is ideal and the proximity to school (a mile) and the pool (a few feet) can't be beat.
An unexpected benefit of our location is our neighbors. While the neighbors on either side of us, as well as the rest of the cul-de-sac, remain distant yet friendly, our "back door" neighbors are anything but. Out our back door is another cul-de-sac and a few doors down is the house of our good friends.
The parents play bridge. The three boys are our kids' ages. Ole and their dog get along great. They're even Jewish!
With this friendship, I see, especially in the summer, the easy house-to-house meandering that I remember from my childhood (particularly in the summer for me, when I stayed with my grandmother). This "yesteryear" ability to drift in and out of each others' houses is a true gift to all of us, but especially for the children.
I feel like I have three extra sons on some days, and certainly the cheese sticks and apples disappear faster than a mere three children could eat them. At times I am refereeing six children or putting out dinner for eight. And I love it.
The oldest son, B, is Ted's good friend. In the year we've gotten closer as families, I've dropped him off places and even walked our dogs together. This ten-year-old boy, in effect, has another mother. How wonderful for both of us!
I find the two younger boys irresistible playmates for my boys and notice that we either have all six in the house, or none at all. They are a pack. They run together.
In these seemingly scary times when children carry cell phones to reassure their parents of their whereabouts, we are so lucky and grateful for this family that provides all of us with some good old-fashioned neighborly love.