Kids are like large breed dogs. They need room to run and be free. They aren’t meant to be contained inside an enclosure or a small yard. If it weren’t illegal to just have your kids live outside like cave men, that’s what I would do. Because that’s where they belong. How’s that for free-range parenting?
Anyway, I have mad respect for the town moms. How can a mom maintain sanity when her children must always be within a half-acre of her? Without the option of banishing my kids to a big yard where the wind can carry their grating, obnoxious, screeching, tattling screams far away, it is unlikely that I would survive this.
My mom is a town mom and, between my kids and other random kids, there is an average of six children at her house at any given point. Her house sounds like a troop of 20 howler monkeys crammed into a cat carrier. She can send them outside, but that opens a whole new set of issues. It’s impossible to keep them contained in her small patch of yard, which inevitably causes problems with neighbors in such close proximity. You may remember my previous post about my boys painting her neighbor’s shed. And when they aren’t committing vandalism, they can usually be found out on the town, socializing with folks – begging for food or scrap metal like a couple of impoverished orphans.
Today, there were 7 kids at Mom’s house and I was in charge for a few hours. After the 762nd time of rounding them up and forcing them back inside, and the 763rd time of them tearing the house completely apart, I decided this wasn’t working for me, so we loaded up to head out to my house. It’s a 20 minute drive to my house and they progressively got louder as we went to the point where I actually would have dumped them on the side of the road like an unplanned litter of kittens if I had a cardboard box big enough.
We finally made it to the house and I opened the doors.
Get out of the car and don’t go in the house.
They leapt out of the car like a herd of gazelles being reintegrated to the savanna. As their shrieks became quieter I thought, “Well isn’t that a beautiful sight?”
Enjoy your afternoon, children. May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. Always. Or at least long enough for me to finish this brief episode of day drinking.