Sunday, May 9, 2010


We all have toys; big boy and girl toys, and little kids have their stuff.  Is it against our Homeowners Association to park kid's toys on the front walks, on lawns and in driveways?  I leave it to the HOA police for that determination.  For me?  Fine, it's okay, let kids put their toys on the property. 
So the tricycles and miniature Ferraris and bikes, leave them be, I say.  I'd rather hear the charming squeals of children playing in the yard or in the court than the rumble of sub-woofers pounding down the street from overloaded vehicles and oblivious drivers.  Rather hear the clunk of a ball and bat in a game of street ball than see adults pulling up poop from their dogs on the greenbelt and shoving it in plastic bags.  
Let children have fun, let them be free.  Keep dogs leashed and doing business on your own front lawn.  Pink two-wheelers, streamers and knapsacks, electric race cars and even radio controlled monster crawlers--free the kids, keep an eye on adults.
When 'storage shed' mania began to infest the outskirts of town like garbage dumps minus the circling gulls and winding dirt drive entrances, overburdened garages breathed a sigh of relief.  The junkyards of suburbia relocated to strip-malled storage facilities of would-be hoarders hiding their stash.  The neighbors lost visibility into stacked wicker baskets of junk and industrial garage shelving of antiquities and memorabilia.  
Our shit.
Taken outside and proclaimed for all a 'Yard Sale' in hot pink and yellow signs, the remains that can't be donated to thrift shops and charity become remnants relegated to someone's retirement business, the now-retro-respectable month-to-month rent-a-junk space.
So kids, park your trikes and bikes, walk your dogs carefully and prudently, play in your yards and in your rooms and be diligent with your toys.  Take care of them.  And when you're done, do what your parents tell you--put them inside, or leave them outside.  But don't forget to tell the HOA's watchful neighborhood eagle eyes to stuff it when it comes to your front yard.  You live there.  It's your stuff, and as long as it's being enjoyed and being played with, that's fine with me.
It's the used junk that crawls from the garage to the lawn and has a 'for sale' sign down the block, it's the leftover madness that transports in pickup beds to a pay-to-stay junk motel that worries me.  Junk pollution in all it's vast forms; yard sales, testosterone-buzzed vehicles you can hear for minutes before  thundering past your home, adult conversations on the street past midnight that nobody wants to hear, dogs barking for hours and nobody to stop it.
But kids?  They roam free in my book.  Stay safe, watch out for cars, but you rule the land, my friends.  Your friendly comforting chatter and the whine of bikes and toys soothes my ragged soul.
Don't let the adults dictate your playgrounds.  
Don't let the coming of age ruin the years of innocence.

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