By Heather O.
We’ve done it. Well, almost. All of our stuff is out of our house, and I will be doing the key handover today. I can’t believe it, but we did it. And, unlike our last move, we did it without our driver hitting one of our neighbors’ cars after unloading and subsequently getting arrested. Bonus points for that, I say.
So now what? Well, we have to wait until DH is officially finished with his life in the slave pits, and then we can really begin life in our new home. In the meantime, we are camping at my mother’s house, living off of the land, as DH likes to call it.
I’ve been pretty worried about how J would handle all of this. After all, this is big stuff for a little kid, and I think in some ways, doing it all sort of little by little, as we have, is almost harder than just picking up, getting there, and setting up shop again immediately. But as we were unloading our truck at our new house, the kids in the neighborhood starting coming home from school, and J greeted them eagerly with, “Hey, where’s your bike? Wanna see mine? C’mon, let’s ride!” Seriously, within minutes, J had all those kids out there on their bikes, 4 kids total, all over the road. Now, the new house is on a cul-de-sac, and it was not lost on J that there were clearly no cars to be reckoned with. He gleefully asked me how far he could go, we set up some boundaries, and that was that. We didn’t talk to him for the rest of the afternoon.
The other moms said, “Wow, my daughter usually doesn’t ride her bike this long,” or “It’s so good to see my son outside. After school, he just usually holes up in the house”, and “My daughter is usually a little bit scared on her bike, but seeing J seems to have given her some confidence.” And I also heard the other parents setting up similar boundaries with their kids, which means that bike riding on the cul-de-sac is not a usual occurence.
Well, J’s here. It is now.
But I was pleased and a little amazed at how easily J interacted with these kids. “Hey, where’s your bike?” was all it took to get them playing together, and then those kids immediately accepted him. I think it shows that those kids are basically good kids, but I wonder if all kids are just like that. Hey, you wanna be my friend? Great, let me show you the supersecret path to my garden! (Actual statement uttered by my next door neighbor’s child. And really, who wouldn’t want to see a supersecret path to a garden!) And now, when we talk about getting to our new house, he has a group of friends he can think about and plan amazing amounts of mischief with.
Here I have been worrying about my kid, and it turns out that he immediately has a bigger social circle than I do. Why can’t adults be as friendly, outgoing, and immediately accepting as the kids are? These kids have very little walls up, and the ones that are there are immediately penetrated with a “C’mon, let’s ride!”. At what point do we lose that, and start putting up stronger walls between us and our adult friends? Why is it so much harder for us to bond as adults than it is for kids? I’m not saying our new neighbors weren’t friendly–they were as open and welcoming as we could have hoped for. And yet, after one afternoon, they are not my friends. I’m not saying they never will be, I’m just saying that we didn’t spend the afternoon playing and sharing secrets and traipsing through the three backyards like the 4 Musketeers. Of course, adults also don’t get quite as excited about the family of slugs that have apparantly made themselves quite comfortable in one of our trees, but hey, maybe we should!
Maybe we just all need to ride more bikes.
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