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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

But you were there....

Yesterday 10 year-old an I rode our bikes to the park.  We swung on the swings and then climbed on the jungle gym.  We chatted for about 10 minutes while sitting on the jungle gym and then I asked, "What would you like to do?"  10 year answered, "What we're doing.  Sit here talking."  We talked for a little while longer when 10-year old said, "I wish I had stories from when I was a little boy that I could tell you, but you were there."

I told him that I'm not in school.  He told me that he got A's on all his papers except for one B- that he ripped up because he did not want anyone to see it.  I told him I'm not on the soccer field.  He went into great detail about soccer at recess.  I told him I'm not at home when I'm not at home.  He told me that he and 14 year old mostly watch dvd's or play Wii when I'm away. Sigh.  Fortunately I'm not gone very often.

Today 10-year old asked if we could ride bikes to the park again. :)

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Side-note: Car loving 19-year old missionary is serving in an area that is walking only.  No cars, no bikes.  His last letter home he said, "I miss driving cars. It has gotten so bad that I find myself looking forward to P-days [preparation-days], so I can push a shopping cart around the store."  Even on paper he makes me laugh.

What defines a good neighbor?

One of my across the street neighbor's had a backyard shed which had turned into a hangout for teen smoking during the hours mom and step-dad were at work.  The shed burned down in June causing collateral damage to neighboring yards.

Same neighbor family middle-school son and friends egged mailboxes and houses during the middle of one night (someone in the neighborhood had seen the egging as it occured).  The boys also set off minor explosives (evidence of an attempted "coin-bomb" was found the next morning).

Same family high school son started a screaming band in his garage. Initially the band limited their practice time and volume, less so as time went on.

Same household: a group of boys were shooting BB guns in the backyard.  BB's were richocheting into neighboring yards.

Last night a next-door neighbor to this family came over at 11pm to tell me he had seen someone in our car.  He had seen the neighbor boy out and asked the boy if he had been in our car.  The boy said, "No!" and ran into his house.  I was out talking with the gentleman when mom and step-dad came out.  They were angry that the gentleman had accused their son of something he had not done. (It was my 10-year old that had been in the car - he and my husband were sleeping in a tent in the back yard and 10-year old needed something from the car.)  The gentleman apologized for the misunderstanding. The mom and step-dad were still upset.  The mom said the neighborhood was always targeting her family.  She said she was frustrated that her family was always being accused of things.  The gentleman again apologized for the misunderstanding and left.  I stayed outside and talked with the mom.  She said she did not understand why it was assumed that her son was in my car.  I explained that with some of the choices her son had made recently it was an understandable mistake.  She said that just because someone has been guilty before it should not be assumed he is guilty again. She said that that way of thinking is what creates criminals.

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When I first saw the high-school boy smoking I mentioned it to his grandma - out of concern for his health. She said she did not know he was smoking and she did not know what to do about it.  I wrote the boy a letter.  I told him I had watched him grow-up.  I told him that I loved him and his family.  I told him I was concerned about his smoking.  I told him that my mom died of cancer.  I gave him very personal details of what dying of cancer looks like.

When I found egg on the mailboxes and learned where it came from, I told the mom.  As a mom I would want someone to tell me.

A few weeks ago the screaming band practiced from 11am - 4pm.  There were occasional breaks but they were far and few between.  3 electrical guitars, 1 percussionist, 1 screamer and 1 vocalist.  It was LOUD.  At 4pm the band left.  When grandma came outside I asked her to please have the band lower the volume.  She said she couldn't do it.  The band started up again at 5pm.  I talked to the boys.  They told me they were legal until 10pm.  I explained that I had checked the noise ordinance and at their volume they were not legal at any time - however, the neighbors I had talked with were willing to accept the compromise of limited playing at scheduled times.  I talked to the mom the next day about creating a schedule.  She was not interested in a compromise - she said that she did not have the time to deal with it.  She said the band just would not play at all anymore.

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Last night's conversation was interesting. In my eyes neighbors watch out for each other, parents' share their genuine concerns with each other and some choices have unwelcome consequences.  In her eyes "neighbors should mind their own business" and each day brings a clean slate. 

 

Um...never mind
As my 10-year old and I pulled up from a long bike ride the 5-year old neighbor boy asked my 10-year old if he would play with him.  My son answered that he was going to eat lunch first.  The 5-year old asked if I could play.  Thinking he had something in mind like catch or basketball I asked, "What would we play?"  He stared at me for a moment and then asked, "When can your son play?"
When "wheel" does not meet ability

10-year old purchased a pair of Heelies (shoes with a wheel in the heel).  There was a pair my size.  10-year old wanted me to buy them.  The kid in me said, "Okay!"  The grown-up in me said, "No."

Once home, watching 10-year old glide down the driveway and on the sidewalks even the grown-up in me wished I had purchased those Heelies.  As though he could read my mind 10-year old asked me to try his Heelies on.  They were snug but do-able.  Let me rephrase, the fit was doable.  Me gliding in them? Not so much, actually not at all.  10-year old had me hold onto his shoulders while he pulled me along the side walk.  Even that was difficult.  It was hard to balance on just my heels (both sets of toes have to be raised off the ground) and each crack in the sidewalk would stop me in my tracks.  After five minutes of patient coaching and pulling on the part of 10-year old and earnest endeavor on my part I ceded defeat.

Sometimes I am glad when I listen to the kid in me.  However, at the shoe store it was a good thing I listened to the grown-up.

 

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