My son made his first neighborhood friend yesterday.
The kids were playing in our backyard, running around building “snow speeders” out of sticks and defending our home from invisible bad guys. They’d been at it for half an hour when a little head popped over the fence. Another five year old boy, ready to chat and play.
With a look of surprise and pure joy on his face, my son ran over to the fence to talk to his unexpected friend.
They quickly discovered they could chuck a foot ball over the fence at each other and thereby play ball. Games were invented and fun was had until the moms came outside and declared it was time for every one to go to the front yards to play so they could more easily catch the ball.
What amazed me about this whole thing was that in the first hour the kids played no questions were asked. Neither child cared what the other’s name was, their age or even what they liked to do aside from throw a ball over the fence to a new friend.
Status, history, age and even names were irrelevant. They simply lived in the moment with one another, enjoying the company while they had the chance.
Sure, by the end of the day us moms had worked out every one’s name, ages and where they went to school. We had a good idea of who worked where and what each child liked to do in their free time.
But those things didn’t matter to our boys. They just knew there was another little guy, willing to have a fun time and that’s all that mattered.
I love kids for things like this. Love the way they view the world. It’s so simple and raw and real. All the things that we get caught up in as adults are meaningless to our children. The stresses of status quo, the worries we harbor about seeming cool or “good enough” in the eyes of our neighbors are as nothing to our kids.
Maybe relationships can be as simple as “I like to throw a ball over the fence too, so let’s do that together”.
Maybe all the other things don’t matter as much, if you’re willing to meet people where they are, even when a fence divides you and share a giggle with them.
Maybe our children are 10x smarter than we are and will have richer relationships because of it.
This open arms acceptance is something I hope my kids never grow out of. I don’t want them to learn to worry about how they are viewed. I don’t wan the cares of measuring up to become something that bothers them, that would keep them from running over and catching the ball that someone else hurls over the fence.
I love that nothing could separate those kids in that moment. And I hope it stays that way forever.
PS – The next day our little neighbor friend wasn’t home…but my son pulled a chair over to the fence and waited for him for almost an hour. Hoping to once again meet his new buddy where he was, and share a football, over the fence.
While you’re here… don’t miss the giant ebook bundle – this sale will be over FAST, you don’t want to miss it! In fact, three of my books are included in the bundle.