Summertime, Playtime

When I was very young and we lived in Seattle proper, I dimly remember playing with only one or two neighbor children. Not that I lacked for company – I don’t remember life before the Captain showed up, and Resiss was born shortly before I turned 5. So, I had siblings to play with and an Ojiichan who would watch us during the summers. I’m sure the Captain and Resiss remember him taking us to Wendy’s for Frostys, turning the jump rope for us in his driveway (one end of the rope tied to the garage door knob), popsicles from the big chest freezer, and rides in the back of his big Bonneville car to go pick Obachan up from work.

Parkay! (Sorry, inside sibling joke.)

When we moved to the Eastside (aka suburbia), we suddenly had neighbor kids our age who we could play with. We would be out in the cul-de-sac for hours riding bikes or playing in backyards, and I’m sure that our parents kind of knew where we were, but it wasn’t unusual to have a sibling come running down to tell you that it was time for dinner, so come on home.

Seriously, does that even happen any more?

Well, we’re trying it here.

Since Tad is immobilized, it takes a lot to get him out of the house (and somewhere to go that doesn’t mind a red wagon coming through). Which means that Ane has also been stuck at home, and very, very bored.

And we’ve got another 4 and a half weeks of this.

Fortunately, we have Little Mo and Big Jay just down the street. Over the last year, as Little Mo’s health has gotten better and she gets ever closer to hitting the “clear” mark of recovery from leukemia, and as we’ve been taking Big Jay with us to AWANA during the school year, Ane has spent a lot of time with them. And I think they’ve become pretty good playmates.

Last Saturday, I stopped by to talk to Little Mo’s mom after my haircut and shopping trip, and Little Mo began asking if she could come over to play in Ane’s room. Apparently, she’d seen the dollhouse and was really wanting to play with it. So, after lunch, Little Mo and her mom came over to play at our house for a while.

The girls disappeared, giggling, into Ane’s room and I don’t think we saw them for 90 minutes or so. It was long enough for Little Mo’s mom to knit (or was it crochet?) a baby hat. She was quick. But the girls had a very good time playing together, and we had to promise them that they could get together again.

Yesterday was warm (as the next few days will be), which makes taking Tad outside (unless we’re going straight to an air-conditioned car) difficult. The kid is wearing ten pounds of cast, and if he’s outside in warm weather, he’s going to be a miserable, sweaty mess. And Ane was begging me to let her do something.

So, I called up Little Mo’s mom to see if she could come play. Instead, she graciously offered to let Ane come play on their big outdoor trampoline and play structure (which was all mostly in the shade) and keep an eye on her while I stayed at home with Tad.

When I asked Ane if she wanted to go over and play with Little Mo and Big Jay in their yard, she immediately started yelling, “YES YES YES!” and ran for her Keens.

She came back over an hour later, flushed and happy. All the reports I got back said that she behaved herself pretty well. *whew* Anyway, she wants to do it again sometime, and Little Mo and Big Jay aren’t tired of her yet. 🙂

I hope that she and Tad can have summertimes like mine, running around with friends and neighbor kids, with the occasional time with their grandparents thrown in. And maybe a teenage aunt who wants to get her learner’s permit. I hope that as time goes by and they get older, I’ll be able to kick them outside (with plenty of sunscreen on) and tell them to be home in time to eat. I hope that I have their friends streaming in for popsicles. I hope they get dirty and run through sprinklers.

But right now, I’m just hoping that Ane can enjoy her summer even if Tad is in a Spica cast. And I’m really hoping that maybe this nice weather will last well into September, so Tad can try and get a little of what he’s missing now.

2 Responses to “Summertime, Playtime”

  1. Ressis
    August 5th, 2008 05:37

    First off: If she had two needles, it was knitting, one needle which is called a hook, it was crochet.

    Second: Don’t talk to me about it being too warm in Washington. By 8:30am its 85 degrees here in Texas. By 2pm its 103, with 80% humidity.

    Third: I don’t think the world is ready for Auntie to start driving.

  2. Juliet
    August 5th, 2008 19:34

    Does Parkay still exist? I was wondering that today. We always had it in the fridge when I was growing up, but these days I only buy butter.

    Keens = awesome. Justin’s family favors crocs–Auletta already has a pair for when her feet are big enough (in Tar Heel blue, of course!).