One of the benefits of living in the suburbs as a kid is that there are plenty of other kids to play with. For the first few years that we lived here, everyone had girls. My poor son had to play house and dress up with the girls. My neighborhood is full of families that transferred from somewhere else, so the dynamics are always changing. The house across the street had five girls. When they moved out, a family with two boys moved in. Currently, our house is surrounded by five boys in grades 1-4. My son has plenty of entertainment now.

It is amazing how much they can keep themselves busy. During the summer and on the weekends, they are out there for hours. They ride bikes, scooters, rip sticks, and roller blades. They trade Pokemon cards, silly bandz, and Lego pieces. They have water gun and water balloon fights. They have lots of juice boxes, water bottles and eat hundreds of popsicles. (I know this because I find the wrappers all over the yard!) When it gets too hot, they hang out in the garage and play DS. It’s funny to see five boys crowded around a friend who is showing them how to get to the next level in some Mario Bros. game.

These boys don’t need a scheduled play date. They just ring the door bell and they are off and running. If a kid is not home, they stalk his house and race over when the car pulls in.

As fall comes and the weather changes, we will see less of these boys. It gets darker earlier and by the time they finish homework or practice, it is too cold and dark outside. Soon after that, the snow will fall. Those boys will be outside again, picking up where they left off.