08 July 2016


Back in the spring, Steve found an old play structure for free and he and his dad picked it up and set it up in our backyard for our kids.  I was thrilled.  The kids were thrilled.  The neighbor kids, it turns out, were thrilled.

Behind us, there is a four-plex rental property.  The people who live there are nice.  Recently a man and his two daughters, a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old moved in.  The Bairn calls them "The Friends" and loves them dearly even though they're mostly feral and kind of jerkfaces.  I arbitrate at least 5 altercations between The Friends and my kids every hour that they're outside on our play structure together.  While they're over, The Friends sometimes help themselves to the strawberries in my garden before throwing sand at my kids and taunting them with promises of the various treats in the fast food meals they carry over with them.  We have a rule that The Friends can't be in our yard unless someone from our family is outside too.  I claim that this is to ensure that if anyone gets hurt, an adult will be nearby to help, but it's as much about the frequency with which I see those girls dancing on the top of their dad's car--I wouldn't like a repeat at my house.

I'd really like to be the kindly neighbor who loves all the troubled children and invites them in for cookies and long talks, but I'm actually the grouchy neighbor yelling, "Hey, you kids, get off my grass!"

Picking strawberries at a farm down the road, since the neighbors are eating all the ones we're growing.

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