Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Grass is Always Greener...



Sunday, my oldest son asked to mow the back yard.

ASKED.

I think my husband was hopeful his eldest son was finally stepping up to the plate responsibility-wise. 

He was wrong.

Turns out, he wanted to clear the grass to make it easier to play lacrosse.  But, whatever gets it done.

I use the term “grass” loosely.  There is some grass in our backyard, lots of dirt patches and, of course, weeds (the heady aroma of wild onions that hung in the air FOR HOURS confirmed this).  Between the smell and the dust cloud (because when you mow dirt, it creates a cloud of filth), it’s, well it is what it is. 

Don’t even get me started on the front yard. 

My husband has struggled for year, YEARS, to get grass to grow in that back yard.  Years, I tell you.  Finally, he has given up.  He has dug up what’s there and replanted oh, 4…5 times?  Grass grows, but then it starts to look patchy again due, in part, to children who like to play on it.  He gets frustrated that they are ruining his grass.  I ask him how we are supposed to contain three children who crave the outdoors indoors while discouraging TV and electronic games.  He feels certain that if we had an irrigation system in our yard, things would be different.  He might be right, but I think it’s an outrageously expensive way to get a create a yard full of mud.  Besides, I’m not entirely certain it would work.  That’s how frustrating that yard is.  #thestruggleisreal

Besides, keeping the kids off the grass would be impossible.  We are that family – the ones whose kids are playing outdoors in 20 degree weather.  If they can get outdoors, they will.  Which isn’t such a bad problem to have, really, is it?

My neighbor revealed to me not long ago that no grass grew in their yard until recently, as in, the last few years.  They are the original owners of their home and raised 4 children there – four children who played outside.  A lot. 

Yes, our yard is an eyesore.  Some days, I even cringe when I look at it.  Occasionally, I'll pretend I don't know who lives there.  Our whole neighborhood knows how hard we’ve worked on that yard.  You get to a point where you just have to cut your losses.  It is what it is.  We tried.  We really did.

HOWEVER.

Our yard always has at least one child playing there.  Sometimes, it has 2, or 3…all the way up to 8 or 9.  I love that they love to play outside.  I love to sit on the screened porch and enjoy the laughter and sounds of kids having fun.  Our yard is big, it is full of equipment and (often) teenage boys who seem to gather here to play in it.  There’s a slack line, a zip line and a big, wavy slide that’s perfect for surfing or snowboarding down (don’t ask).  There’s a platform in the playset that has been a fort, a clubhouse, a crow’s nest on a pirate ship, a lookout and is the perfect place to launch water grenades.  Treasures are buried there, kids explore there, flags are captured there and at one point there was even a faux Indian campsite built there, complete with a teepee and a stone edged fire pit.  That yard was my savior as a stay at home mom with three kids ages 4 and under.  The Mom Olympics (a game I invented that involves the kids racing each other around the house in a variety of ways – hopping, running backwards, skipping – so that they’ll get tired) – were held there multiple times. 

Yes, in this particular case and in a literal sense, the grass is always greener on the other side(s).  Believe me. 

But the “green” of my backyard is a such a happy, earthy shade.  Which, yes, is to say it is literally the color of the earth.  BUT it's also colored by memories and laughter.  

It seems there is the promise of grass in our yard, one day.

But I’m not ready for that just yet. 


*To our neighborhood, we are truly sorry.  Kind of.  But hey, now that we've given up on the back yard, we can try to fix the front yard!*



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