Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yard of the Flies

Ours being a double block, which is also flat, there are a lot of families with kids on it.

I said kids but what I really should have said was boys.  There are a lot of BOYS on our block.  Tons really.  That is, of course, if one were to add up their collective weights.   Those of us with boys in our family unit however, know that this would be next to impossible...since you could never get them to stand still long enough to get an accurate read on their weights in the first place.

They are always moving, these boys.  Much like boys in every corner of the globe I assume.

And no where is that reality more evident than on our double sized block.  There is one front yard in particular where they congregate to commence with their wilding and mayhem, boy style. 

I have taken to calling it The Yard of the Flies.

On any given afternoon there are upwards of 10 boys of various ages who gather with swords and sticks and lightsabers and tennis rackets and any other household item that can be remotely imagined as a weapon, ready to participate in mock battle sequences and the like.  Honest to goodness, yesterday one of them was wielding a chainsaw over his head chasing around the other kids cackling before catching up to a couple of unlucky fallen ones and pretending to cut their limbs off.  

Okay, that WAS Lukas but in his defense it was only a toy chainsaw and he found it in on the house's porch.  During all this madness I'm usually a safe distance away, guarding the signal fire.

Yes, these boys play like warriors a lot but it is certainly not all they do.  They have also set up obstacle courses, played classics like tag & hide and seek, as well as climbed trees and demonstrated to each other their various skills in a wide range different activities like solving the newest rage The Perplexus maze ball.  Lukas has one of those now too, and it's his new favorite toy.

This house is across the street, which is routinely busy, so up until recently we hadn't let Lukas partake in the wild rumpus and fun that takes place in The Yard of the Flies.  Now though, we think he is old enough to account well enough for himself to join in - but only if he is still supervised by either myself or Mrs. LIAYF.

Oddly, on many days we are the only parents standing out there keeping an eye on the boys.  The other parents are watching from the relative safety of their houses.  Perhaps we are a teeeesy bit overprotective of him but he is still our first and only child. Plus I did mention the battles, didn't I?

It may sound crazy and at times dangerous and not for the feint of heart, but in actuality these are all very good boys from good families who are outside playing and making friends and using their imaginations and getting much needed exercise for kids their age.  I am especially impressed with the older boys, some closing in on their teens, who treat the younger ones like Lukas with a measure of gentleness. 

Best of all, during all this imaginative play these boys are not sitting in front of screens munching on chips and drinking soda.  And that's a pretty good thing in my book.

I just hope they don't all decide to turn on me one of these days.

How about you readers?  Do you have a Yard of the Flies where you live?


momnextdoor said...

What an awesome thing for Lukas to experience! I bet he'll have some great memories from that!

We had a good mix of boys and girls on my street and, like any self-respecting neighborhood, had stick ball games and freeze tag and all sorts of fun things we dreamed up. Good times!

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Good for you throwing that boy outdoors to play :) I wish we had a bigger neighborhood of children. :/

neal call said...

Our neighborhood is a mecca for the elderly. Too bad for my daughter. But I grew up in the suburbs of D.C., and we had a wooded backyard with a creek winding away for miles behind it, and I spent most of my childhood back there exploring the drainage tunnels and sewers that emptied into the creek. At one point, there was even a rumor going around that there were teens roaming the creek area with whips and machetes. It didn't stop us from heading down there, it just made it more exciting.

Idaho Dad said...

We have just the opposite. Lots of girls around here. Great for my daughter, but lousy for my son. Even when he's older and dating, they're all too young for him. :(

christopher (@twistedxtian) said...

That's so awesome! I lived on a street like that growing up and it was a blast. I loved having people to play with and room to play in. Sounds like he's set.

Canadian Dad said...

This sounds like an exact description of my street. We live on a corner and there are about 5 families all with kids the same age, all living next to each other. It's really great for the kids (and the parents) to be outside bonding with one another.

BloggerFather said...

Funny thing is that if my boy watches TV all day, I tell myself, "Well, at least he's not out in the street, waving a chainsaw"....