A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a bicycle laying in our yard.
And the bike wasn't ours.
Remember when you were young and you ran around with your gang of friends? You played in the neighborhood, rode your Schwinn Stingrays with the banana seats and tall handlebars, feeling the wind in your hear (back when we had hair...) and going anywhere we wanted. I remember those days fondly.
I also think I remember us either making fun of, or just parroting old men when they yelled, "Hey kids--get out of my yard!"
Thinking back, I can't actually remember a old man, or even an older man saying those words to us. It's probably something we think old men, or older men loved to say. I mean, what damage can a bunch of pre-teens do in an old man's (or older man's...) yard? All we we would do is run around other people's yards. And, sure...maybe a sprinkler head would get destroyed now and again. Maybe we'd run through a flower bed or two. But did anyone die? Did the earth stop spinning? I think not. No, we were just kids having fun.
So, what happened in the past forty years that's changed?
Turns out, I did.
The bike, that's not one of ours, didn't do any harm. It's was just lying there. I'm sure the owner would eventually come and get it. No big deal, right? Actually, the next morning we were going to mow the lawn so I moved the bike to the curb. Since we live on a cul-de-sac, there was little chance anything would happen to the bike. And the next morning it was gone.
As an adult, having a bike in the yard could be problematic. What if one of the kids runs through the yard, falls over the bike and breaks an arm? See--old man thinking right there. The bike didn't bug me, really. But what it did was make me realize that if an old man, or older man yelled at kids asking them in a loud voice to leave his yard, I can now see where he's coming from. That's what growing up really means.