Saturday, November 3, 2007

Every Body's Back Yard

We don't have a back yard, but we have an "every body's back yard." Every time I go, this name I have given it rings more true. It is the only place I feel comfortable going with just me and Reuben. When Reuben needs to run around, chase squirrels, play in leaves, or get dangerously close to mud puddles I don't send him to the back yard, but I take him to every body's back yard. I have to walk two blocks south, then down a long-sleep hill. I think, "self, having a back yard, or not being as picky about what your part of every body's back yard should look like would be easier." But I've found my piece of every body's back yard. A part that I love, and I can't settle for the part where I can still see the city (which would be much closer).

Once we get there, I let Reuben out of the stroller--the New York Mom's version of a car. It only takes a few seconds and he is off to do those things rural kids get to do in their back yard.

A couple weeks ago, I saw two different sets of father's teaching sons how to ride a bike. This is something I learned to do in my drive way, but we don't have drive ways in New York, so daddies have to teach bike riding in every body's back yard. I think this would be really hard to do, mostly for the kid. If you don't remember learning how to ride a two-wheeler, then you might think it doesn't matter where you learn to ride a bike. Or, maybe I was just too self-aware as a child.

There are always little girls playing clapping games. It seems so old fashioned compared to the rest of the city to play Miss Sue while sitting on a park bench. I love to see it, old fashioned or not. It gives me hope for those little girls. The urban-ness of their home doesn't mean little girls have to be urban. I think the only people that should have to be Urban are the rich famous people who can make it fashionable.

During lunch time, the benches are full of old men reading the newspaper and smoking cigars, something I think rural old men do on their porch. We don't have porches in New York, some people have fire escapes, and ritzy people have those deck things, but they are quaint enough to be called a porch.

There is always a group of picnickers sitting on a worn out blanket and laughing. My favorite are those picnickers that are families, or two Mommy's with a few kids, it reminds me of eating outside on those days where it was just perfect.

Then, there are the dogs. I like animals in their natural habitat. If I were a dog I would not want to be an inside dog, I might like to have a family to play with, but I wouldn't want to be couped up. I don't think humans should have to live in the city, unless that is their natural habitat. I really don't think dogs should have to live here. But, in every body's back yard they seem to belong, and my little boy is glad they are there. I am always amazed at how nice the dog owners are. Reuben when he runs up and says "GOGGIE!" Nice man holding a cup of coffee and two dogs on a leash stops to talk to Reuben about the dogs. "This one is Fergie. Sit Fergie. Do you want to pet her? Like this." Reuben points and says "googie," smiles, and inches towards the dog. Sorry, Linfords, people do not take their cat to every body's back yard.


Jessica said...

Good thing--the dogs would be mean to them. Cats are content to just sleep in a ray of sunshine on the back of a couch, although Sam does enjoy running around in our backyard. I don't think he'd like NY much. He'd feel very cooped up. Henry wouldn't mind being cooped up, but his nerves would be so shot by the noise that his heart would give out. He's the most skittish creature on the face of the planet. It's okay if Reuben likes dogs--just don't turn him against cats.

Tammy said...


I think you should write a short book called 'living in small town NYC'.

You make it sound so wholesome and nostalgic and wonderful!

Can't wait to visit!
xo Tammy