Friday, April 3, 2015

Playing In The Street!

About a week ago I was busy making dinner while the kids were outside riding their bikes. There was a knock at the door and I figured it was locked and one of them was wanting in. As I was walking to the front door I noticed the shadow by the door was taller than a child's shadow so it wasn't one of the kids. I open the door to a irritated looking older man. He starts out the conversation with this...."So is it my fault if I hit one of you kids with my car?" That took me a bit by surprise. Our conversation was weird at best....he lives down the road from us and he had just almost hit both Jack and Owen while they were riding their bikes. He said things like..."I didn't get a bike until I was 16 years old and I had to pay for it", "My parents cared enough about me to not let me ride in the street" and "This is a isn't a playground". Those were all nice points. My first thought was wow....16! You had a sad childhood! My parents bought me my first bike around 5 years old and there are too many memories to count that involve me riding bikes with my friends. The second thought was....excuse me don't even imply that I do not care or do not love my children! And my third thought was....this isn't the freakin''s a dead end road in a neighborhood. You know those things where lots of people live and and have kids! 

In all seriousness I do not want my children to die by getting run over by one of our neighbors and he did have a good point about the way the kids were riding down a hill off a side street and zooming out into the road. Honestly even though he annoyed me I think that God can get your attention using annoying people! So that very night Michael took the kids out and laid down some serious boundaries in regards to where they can and cannot ride. 

I also have gotten a little more relaxed in regards to them being out there unsupervised. The boys are getting older and lots of times the neighbor kids are with them. I guess my "strength in numbers" saying has let me put my guard down. 

So I've decided that I will be making more of an effort to go out with the kids when they ride and/or check up on them more often if I'm busy making dinner. I did let the guy know that I was thankful for his concern and we would be laying down some new rules, but there was no way I was going to stop my kids from riding bikes in the street. They need to be taught how to be safe.....which we have taught them to move to the side of the road the moment they see or hear a car. They all do that just fine. I'm not just going to coup my kids up inside our house trying to save them from every little dangerous thing! The older the kids get the more I realize that there is only so much I can do. I can't save them from everything and frankly that's not my job. I cannot be around my kids 24/7 to protect them. They have to learn to take care of themselves and I have to put my trust in the Lord that He will watch over my kids. Now don't think I'm going to let my kids walk down the Safeway down the road or anything. I'm talking age appropriate riding bikes in the street or going over to the neighbors house to play or in Jack and Owen's case walking to and from the bus stop by themselves. I also don't want to raise kids that only want to sit their butts in front of a TV screen all day long! Trust me mine would love it if I did!!! 

Once this little cutie starts school in September I will resume walking the kids to and from the bus stop. We don't trust the boys to always stay with her and we do not want her ever walking by herself! 

Here is a picture with the side street the guy was talking about. It's between those two white houses. It's really a private road for 4 houses that are behind those two. It's a slight hill and the kids love to ride to the top and coming zooming down...who wouldn't! The only thing is our road continues down toward the dead end and the folks that are driving up can't see the kids and the kids don't look for traffic they just come shooting out of no where. That is when the guy almost hit the boys. Needless to say the kids are no longer allowed to do that! We talked about how dangerous it was and also about the fact that it is a private road that those people paid to have paved and it's not right for us to go on their property. Michael took all the kids out and showed them exactly where they are allowed to go and if they cross those lines they will lose the privilege of riding their bike for a week! 

Enough serious talk....on this particular day I was watching Ella and Zeke thought it would be fun to "hide" from me behind the mailbox post! 

I see you!!!! 

Oh my word she's getting so big!!! 

So is this little squirt! 

For some reason Zeke isn't much of a rider on toys. First off his little legs are too short to be able to push the pedals on either his bike or his trike and secondly he doesn't really like to be pushed either. He does ride Jack's Y Rider every now and then. He also isn't a huge fan of speed so he doesn't really like to ride on any of the PowerWheels either! I'm sure he'll get over it soon enough and then he'll be out zooming around with the bigger kids!