We have a foot of new snow and are snuggled in for the day, candles burning and brownies baking. Ryley spent a good portion of the mid-day trying to capture the attention of the new neighbor boys across the street by donning her snow pants and playing demonstratively in the front yard.
We’ve never had neighbors with children Ryley’s age before. And this family has between four and seven boys. Their van is like a clown car, with children piling out and running into the house before we can accurately count them. But there is one (I would guess that he is about 10) that comes outside a lot and just hangs out in his front yard…almost like he needs a break from the chaos inside. I’ve even heard him singing to himself.
Ryley has longed for neighbors she can play with for several years. She has even prayed for neighbors she can play with. So these people are interesting to her.
They’re interesting to me, too, because there is a lot of strange adult activity happening around there. For instance, I think they have two bearded, backpacking drifters that live there on snowy weekends and then go back to the mountains when the weather turns nice again. Just my perceptions from my “RearWindow”-esque observations. But I digress.
One morning at 7 a.m., we watched as they filled their clown car with ease and drove off toward their school/work obligations before we had even gotten the comb through Ryley’s tangles.
“Wow, they must be really organized!” was Ryley’s summation.
But here’s the thing:
The other day, Ryley came bounding down the stairs in her cutest top and jeans.
“Hey, pretty girl!” Ryan greeted her. “You look cute!”
She blushed and plopped down on the armrest of the chair where I was sitting. I could tell something was up.
“Um, Mom? How do you, uh, meet neighbors?” she asked, her voice giving out nervously.
And suddenly it was clear. Hmmmm.
“Are they outside?”
“Well, you could take a book and sit on the front porch and read. And then, if they start playing, you could ask them if you can play too.”
She loved that idea. So she went to grab a book. Before too long, it was too dark to read, but not before she had managed a “hi” when the boy’s ball ended up in our gutter.
A couple days later, Ryley and Ryan were preparing to take Juliet to the vet for her shots, so Ryley took her out the front door on her leash. The neighbor boy happened to be out checking their mailbox, so Ryley casually checked our mailbox too.
The boy stopped, stared, and waved shyly. Ryley waved back.
“Did you see that?!” Ryan was putting on his coat, and he whirled around to face me, helplessness in his eyes. “That boy just waved shyly to our daughter!”
“Well, she’s a pretty girl.”
“It’s not an option. I’m going to have to buy a gun.”
Last weekend, my grandma came into town, so Ryley showed off her hostess skillz….
Then, my mom came to visit during her Spring Break. It was so much fun to have her here!
Now Ryley is on Spring Break, and we leave for Atlanta on Wednesday morning.
I am off to put soup on the stove and start a fire in the fireplace. Happy spring to all!