Monday, September 05, 2011

The neighborhood

Computer troubles -- meaning, no new computer yet, have really limited my ability and willingness to blog. At least I finally put my photo-browsing program on our little Netbook, only to discover that it's really lame at editing. Today, Labor Day, started out a slow and lazy day. Katrina spent a lot of time listening to "Clifford" tunes, this time with Clifford listening with her!
Our neighborhood had a Street Fair today, a very small affair that included a demo by firefighters, and an inflatable water slide. To my surprise, Katrina went up the slide, and down, though she had some help the first time.
For some reason, the compressor for the slide turned off, and it very slowly started to deflate -- while Gabriel and Katrina were up top! I could hear her crying out in fear, then screaming, even though I knew Gabriel was up there with her. She wasn't in any danger, since it was deflating very very slowly, but something freaked her out to where she wouldn't just slide down. I started to climb up after her, and then I heard people saying "there they are," referring to Gabriel and Katrina coming down.

Gabriel told me later that the platform they'd been on at the top had sunk down, and he had a hard time pulling her out, partly because she resisted his help, but he managed to pull her out and get her to slide down anyway. What a terrific big brother!

I was lucky he was up there with her, because he met up with a friend from school at the street fair, a kid he'd been asking for a playdate with, and who happens to live in our strange little neighborhood enclave. Most of his time was spent running around like crazy with his friend, and in fact I left Gabriel at the fair with his friend after the slide deflation incident to take Katrina home. I met his friend's mother, and she was happy to have Gabriel over for a playdate during/after the fair. So I told Gabriel to come home at 5:00, and knew it'd take him maybe 5 minutes to walk home.

Julian spent the day at The Tech Museum with our neighbors across the street, who have a 3rd-grade boy that he's made friends with. Julian had gone over to see if his friend could play, and they were on their way to the museum and invited Julian. He didn't get back until 6pm, so he was entertained unexpectedly all day.

Katrina has a classmate who I think I've seen walking with her parents not far from our house, which also suggests they're neighbors. It'll be a while before I'll tell Katrina to just go to a kid's house and ask if they can play, but in two years, sure.

Can it be? Do we actually have signs of a neighborhood here? Kids knocking on each other's doors and asking if a friend can play? It seems so .... well, suburban -- but it's a really, really good thing. I was so happy to see the boys playing with friends today, and without any work or coordination on my part -- perfect. Is that what a neighborhood is about?! 9/5/11

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