I closed my eyes while leaning on the rail of the deck out back and could hear the train in the distance mixed with the sound of my children laughing and screaming out front. I was tired of moving from the back deck to the front porch trying to keep an eye on the kids while they ran from one place to the next - I finally had to put my foot down and demand they stay either out front or out back. The side yard was completely off limits considering I don't have a window on that side of the house in order to spy on whatever they are up to.
I decided to head into the house to prepare dinner while listening intently to the sounds coming from the outside - feeling that as long as I could hear the sounds of fun and laughter that all was well with the outside world and I was free to whip up whatever meager packaged goods I had in the pantry. I had to pause about a million times while cooking to make more demands that no one play in the side yard - I'm afraid the neighbor boys have figured out I can’t spy on them and lure my children over there. Since I was trying to prepare dinner I made a strong suggestion they stay in the back yard so I could easily glance out the kitchen window. Another obstacle though is the shed out back. You know, I have a daughter - the only girl amongst several boys. I'm always worried about the "show me yours and I'll show you mine" game that can happen in a matter of a few unsupervised minutes behind the shed. May it never happen!
My life would be much easier if we lived on a farm away from the multitude of subdivision kids. But, I remember having so much fun when I was young. Playing games like king of the dirt hill and softball. We loved bike races and drawing on the road with broken pieces of drywall from the houses being built nearby. We used to run everywhere. My parents wouldn't have a clue where we were. We had one rule - to stay within whistle distance. Boy could my dad whistle. If he whistled and we didn't come we were dead. It's too funny - I do the same thing. What's even funnier - my kids aren't the only kids who come when I whistle. :)