This morning Ryan went outside to get Mary's lunchbox from the car (she cannot remember to bring it inside no matter what. Also this one contained an entire uneaten "turkeydinner sandwich") and when he opened the door the neighbor kids who were shooting baskets in our driveway froze like deer in the headlights. He laughed and told them to keep having fun. Then he came back in and continued packing Mary's lunch.
Shortly after that we heard a commotion and Wes came thundering down the stairs, crashed through the kitchen (our house has lots of hard surfaces and everything sounds extra loud) and into the garage. He emerged seconds later holding several playground balls under his arms then wordlessly ran out the front door.
Wes does not miss an opportunity for some spontaneous neighborhood funtime.
Also his room overlooks the driveway. So you know he was up there listening to the thump-thump-thump.
Apparently he got over his pique that I had asked him to change into some uniform-approved white socks (and take off the yellow soccer socks he had pulled up to his thighs) and decided a few minutes of basketball would be more fun than continuing to sulk in his room (after spending the first half hour of the day angrily eating a piece of cinnamon toast sitting on the rug in front of the sink. He sure showed me).
The other kids ran out of the house after him and soon I was drinking my coffee in the front yard, in my jammies, watching a pack of kids play a chaotic game of pick up basketball.
Our other neighbor, who has a one year old, walked out of her house dressed for work to find six children chasing playground balls all over the street. Mary politely waved and said "Good morning!"
And then Ryan came out of the house, briefcase slung over his shoulder, coffee in hand, and exclaimed "Time to go to school!" and everyone noisily climbed into the car. They buckled in and closed the door just as the last straggler from the house scurried across the yard and jumped inside.