It was a big night at our little green house. Actually, it was a big night on the street in front of our little green house. August 7th is National Night Out, an event sponsored by cities and municipalities as a way to help people get to know their neighbors so that we can help each other in times of need or notice when something is amiss in our own neighborhood. For the past four years we have made fliers and planned for a block party that would bring everyone together. But last night was the first time that the event was truly a success. We got special permission from the city to block off a portion of the street, we put up a lemonade stand, cut juicy red watermelon, turned a sprinkler on in the middle of the street, and suddenly the whole block was teeming with wet, shouting, happy, kids and their parents. A lot of them I knew but some were coming out for the first time. And best of all: I could socialize without worrying about Oliver running out into the street!
Sam was in his glory. Two days ago he learned to pedal his tricycle and so he spent the whole two hours riding it through the sprinkler, taking breaks only long enough to go and grab another slice of watermelon. I loved watching him. His growing self-confidence and Independence is such a pleasure. It makes me feel as though I've done some things right by him.
Oliver enjoyed himself, too, I think. More and more I see that he is able to stay in the fray. True, he tends to stay on the edges -- so unlike Sam who is right in the thick of everything -- but he stays, and that is the important part. Also, I found it endearing that he passed up all the brownies and cookies and zeroed in on the cut veggies. Give that boy some cucumbers, carrots and green peppers and he's happy.
By 9 o'clock though he had had enough and began tugging on my hand to go home. Once in the door he peeled off his wet clothes and headed straight for bed. I tucked him in and he was snoring before the light was out. Sam, on the other hand, stayed outside until the very last possible minute. When he finally conceded to get into bed it was 10pm and he was still going strong.
Five minutes after heading downstairs to clean up a bit I heard Oliver's piercing screams. Nik and I looked at each other. Wasn't he sleeping? Then I bolted upstairs to find Sam sitting on the bed next to a prone Oliver. Then his unbidden confession: "He bit me so I just bit him."
A quick search of Oliver's body revealed a nasty bite mark on his face, just below his left eye. But he was already drifting back off to sleep as I kissed the spot and silently hoped it would be gone by morning.
No so luck. This morning Nik remarked that it looked like an animal got the poor kid.
I'll have to post a picture of him and with another boy I know we'd have a couple of bookends!