#611 New neighbours, old neighbours

A pair of brothers, primary-school aged, live next door. Confident, direct, interested. They sat perched on the fence bordering our homes as I put up the washing this afternoon, baby girl on the ground floor trying to scale up our side of the fence to reach them.

“Can we play with her?” the younger one asked.

“Ahhh,” I stalled. I didn’t have any reason to say no, but I had a headache, I needed to start dinner, and I didn’t know where they would play… I hadn’t even met their mother, and so I couldn’t just unceremoniously dump baby girl on her to play with some older boys at her house.

“She’s having an early dinner soon, so I’m not sure,” I bluffed.

“Is that because she’s going to bed earlier?” (I told you, interested).

“No, not really…”

“Maybe we can come over and play after dinner?”

“Yeah.” Push things to after. “We’ll see what happens.”

I then took the washing basket in thinking it was all resolved and nothing would happen, while baby girl jumped on her trampoline and let off some steam.

Well then, I actually started on dinner. And about 45 minutes later, with things well underway, Hubbie home from work and now my splitting headache also far along, I was sitting for a moment on the couch, doing a Bold and the Beautiful catch-up, when something caught my eye out of the front window, some figures coming up the footpath towards the house.

Boys. Barefoot. Bowed heads.

But ready to play with Baby Girl.

I turned to baby girl who hadn’t yet seen them, and when I asked her if she wanted to play with them, here and now, she almost couldn’t believe her stroke of luck.

She led them to the backyard and they jumped away like mad, performing all manner of tricks in the trampoline.

The boys came inside, spoke to us. Looked at our nearby photos, played with her toys. They slam dunked on a basketball hoop we have hanging off a nearby door, and we asked them about their primary school.

They were really gentle and kind with baby girl.

They all played together, just perfectly. And the level of respect they showed to her, just blew me away.

Even besides the impressing me part, I was reminded, and led back to the good ol’ days when I was that young kid. At my neighbours’ house – and I had three friendly neighbour houses who I frequented daily back then – that I knew back to front.

I knew their lives and their families. They knew mine. It was the perfect, best upbringing. Four houses in a row, and all four houses with girls of the same age. It was the stuff of stories. Not even writers could write this stuff and get away with it.

But so too, it ended the way stories do. People grow up. Parents separate. Kids go to private schools and remove themselves. And soon they all moved away.

It doesn’t take away from my awesome childhood memories, and honestly, I have too many. I am still in contact with 2 out of those 3 girls, and even went to their weddings, and they mine, so I think that is a fabulous effort considered.

But I sometimes think, and ponder, how nice it would be for baby girl to grow up amongst that kind of setting. Neighbours her age, where they could spend their days together, outside as kids should, running and bike riding and playing hide and seek within a one block radius, ‘park permitted.’ 🙂

Freedom, and yet safety. Where the parents know each other, know the kids, and all can play together, alternating houses, and yet the parents can still tell their kids friends to ‘go home because we’re having dinner now.’ That kind of honest, direct, freedom.

I thought of all that today. I thought of what I had growing up, and I looked at what was happening now in our house.

The noise, the kids, the neighbours. Her new friends 🙂

The ball rolled over to me as I was chopping cucumbers. I kicked it back to the young boy who took it and slam dunked against the hoop.

Later, Hubbie interrupted their jumping party outside and told them it was now our dinner time. Baby girl waved them off, “bye boys!” while he hoisted them OVER THE FENCE.

Now that’s, a real neighbour. I freaking love it :):):)

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

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#595 Post-party in-car D&M

They are becoming more and more frequent, and I LOVE them.

I don’t even know why they weren’t so frequent before… we’re always driving some kind of distance to get to some event/birthday/wedding/party. And yet, maybe because we are now so much more further away from a lot of our family and friends, our time in the car has now been extended…

…Making these moments happen more often. Happily so.

Because it will be the end of a long day or night. Either way baby girl will be sleeping, spent from the day’s playing/activities/charades. And then Hubbie and I will begin to talk.

About everything. Starting with a party debrief. ‘Who said what, why that happened, did you hear about that place?’ Not in a gossip-y way, not at all. It’s more a happy sharing in information, where we laugh, we delve into all kinds of topics and issues, and we reminisce on the day that was, counting our blessings for having the circle that we do, and counting our blessings for each other.

Inevitably, just like today too, after going to a birthday party and then driving home in the late afternoon, we would have had a glass or 5 to drink. Well not me, I’m the driver. But we are in happy, fine form, and start counting the ways in which we are grateful for each other.

We bond. We talk about goals and dreams. We look to the skies, whether they are bright with sunlight, or midnight black, and try to work out what we will do with our lives, how we will achieve it, and what can we do to get to it, together.

And I think I know why I love these conversations so much. Yes we are setting positive goals. Yes we are reconnecting. Yes we are expressing gratitude for those around us, but for each other most importantly.

They are so dear to me, because simply, we are just talking. We have a long space of time, where we can just spill our guts and express our deepest heart’s desires, and just go for it.

It is beautiful, and all of the above things make it more so.

#558 Giving a much needed hug

Today I came through on the promise I made days ago.

Today I travelled across to the other side of town, and attended the funeral of one of my closest friend’s Mum.

I gave her a huge hug, we cried, and I told her we were there for her.

And in amongst this grim day, I had done my bit. I had done what I had wanted to do for so long, and I hope my presence did something for her… not necessarily to lessen her pain – nothing can do that – but to show her that she has people around her who care.

I was grateful I had come through for her.

#554 That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things…

I was shocked, and then immediately saddened, to learn today that the Mother of one of my oldest and dearest friends, had passed away last night.

I knew she had been sick, but still I had had no indication that her condition was getting worse. I knew it might be a long road ahead, which is why I didn’t see this coming.

I called my friend, and told her if I were closer, I’d give her a big hug. We cried. I sent her my love and support.

Then I got off the phone, and sat, with some more tears, before baby girl found me and took me into her play area.

I was grateful. Grateful I could do these ‘Mum’ things, and even just as grateful, that I still had a Mum.

I called my Mum and told her the news. We spoke some more, and it was so nice that when I called, I could hear her voice.

Later on I made a cake with baby girl. I used some sponge cake that had passed its use by date, and also some cream that was weeks old, but had been unopened.

Both were perfectly fine.

I threw in some melted chocolate, and melted white chocolate, that I had used for recipes weeks and months ago, that had gone hard again in the fridge, and melted them again.

I whipped the cream. Added berries.

And the cake was pretty damn good.

How is this at all relevant? There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. About re-using what you think is no good, and holding it all together…

That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things.

 

#546 After the party

Today Hubbie and I were in FINE FORM.

It was a sunshine-y day. There was NO PARTY. No family, and no friends about.

We pumped the music LOUD. Actually, from two stereos – one from his car in the garage as he stored away spare chairs and tables from inside and tidied up from that end of the house, and me with the inside stereo, throwing up the volume as I washed, and cleaned, and tidied, and sucked every pesky crumb from the carpet I could find as I vacuumed with such jolly, ALL OVER THE PLACE.

And we couldn’t have been happier.

Because as much as we love throwing parties – damn it’s good when it’s over, your house returns to some sense of normality, and suddenly, the pressure is OFF.

No rush, no stress, no freaking pulling my hair out.

Just memories, a lot of mess, and ahh moments.

Ahhh. ‘Til the next birthday…

#531 Dancing in the kitchen with best man and fam

Ahhh. Kitchen. Dancing. It’s become a synonymously SmikG thing, huh?!?!

But today, we were fortunate to spend the best evening ever with some of our besties. It’s always so easy and entertaining – we have fun, we are relaxed, and all of this even more so because our kids are having fun, and they are relaxed too… so relaxed they ran around the house in circles trying to freeze each other with ‘Frozen’ wands repeatedly.

Like I said, relaxed.

It’s a win-win.

And the end of it brought the perfect culmination of the night, when we took to the kitchen dancefloor (because let’s face it, that’s what it is) quite spontaneously, and started to move.

Hubbie and Best Man got personal… man love all the way.

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There was standing on stools, Elvis Presley poses

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Kids screaming in excited fury!

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And just all kinds of colourful feet moving about on the dancefloor.

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It was freeing, it was happy, it was wild and it was irrationally crazy… yet mostly the vibe was PERFECT.

As it always is in the Best company. Best man and fam. Makes sense 😉

 

 

 

#516 Meeting Skye

Another one was added to the list as baby girl came into arms reach (or should I say, Paw’s reach – total Dad joke I know) of one her latest Paw Patrol idols.

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She was full of energy and happiness, no hesitation in meeting such a BIG STAR, and went straight in for a hug, an adorable photo, and then even turned around to get a hi-five from the Pink Pup.

It was too cute, yet over very quickly, considering we had been standing in line to meet the character for over an hour.

We had delightful company though, which made it very bearable.

You see, coincidentally and lucky for us, we were in the shopping centre ‘hood of baby girl’s 3rd cousin, where we saw Skye today. They are two months apart, which makes them adorable to look at together. Can you just imagine 2 almost 4 year-olds running up and down and around the length of the queue, feigning drama at the long wait, and policing each other around, to our extreme amusement? Our smiles did not leave our faces 🙂

They are different, and yet so much the same. They compliment each other really well, and because of that get along great. They spent some time after the meet ‘n’ greet making their own Paw Patrol badges

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before a little play date at her cousins house. It is actually a joy to watch them two together, and as well as being grateful that baby girl put another notch on her celebrity/idol/character meet ‘n’ greet list, I was so happy she got to share it with her cousin, someone I have no doubt she will be very close to, and share special memories with, as the years go by.

Love love love.

♥♥♥