Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fun in a Bun

Two or three times a year, sometimes more, the families in our neighborhood gather for a potluck called "Fun 'n' buns." The host supplies hot dogs and hamburgers (hence the "bun") and everyone else brings side dishes and desserts. Especially in the winter, when we don't run into each other outside as often, it's a nice way to reconnect. The moms of older kids talk about school and sports and choir practice and book club. The moms of little kids talk about sleep and health and food and pediatricians (actually, one of the moms is a pediatrician). The dads talk about poker or snowblowers or something. It makes me feel utterly suburban, but I just eat this stuff up.

At this week's party, there were at least 10 kids, ranging in age from 3 to 16 (not counting the 3 babies, who spent their time passed from one gushy, cooing adult to the next). After the first 5 or so minutes of the party, I barely saw Jo again--she was off tagging after the rest of the kid crowd.

What's amazing is that they let her. All of them, even the big-shot 12-year-old boys. They included her, as they always do, and happily so. It's one of the things that has struck us most about this town and this neighborhood: The teens and tweens are so gosh-darned nice. They are unfailingly pleasant and polite to adults (although it does freak me out to be called “Mrs. H.”), and just darling with littler children. The two kids next door, a boy and girl of about 9 and 11, play outside together all the time. I watch them from my window in awe of how much they seem to enjoy each other’s company. Often they’ll have friends over too, but sometimes it’s just the two of them playing catch or shooting baskets. How cool is that?

I sure hope it’s something in the water, because this is how I want my children to behave, too.

1 comment:

mothergoosemouse said...

That sounds wonderful. I wish our neighborhood were more like that. Maybe it will just take some more time. We do love our next door neighbors - both of their kids behave just as you described, and likewise, I hope my girls grow up to behave the same way.