How weird is this?
I take the two dogs for a quick walk before dinner. After the walk we entered our house through the back door. I walked into the kitchen to feed Abby and I see the strangest site. (Our kitchen looks out over our front yard.)
My new neighbor (that I've only spoken to twice) along with some lady I've never seen before and about eight kids are running around my front yard, playing football, making leaf piles in my yard, jumping in the piles, throwing the leaves around, and hanging on my young tree. All the while the two women are busy snapping photographs.
As I'm trying to make sense of what I'm seeing, I notice that the kids are not only raking my leaves into a big pile, but they are bringing leaves from another neighbors' yard into my yard! Believe me, when you have a lot of leaves to rake the last thing you want is more leaves added to your yard.
What? Why in the world did these two women decide to have a photo shoot in my yard? Almost all the yards in this neighborhood are filled with big trees...trees that are much bigger than my little two-year-old tree. Not only that, but the entire neighborhood backs up to a city park that is filled with trees!
"Okay, they must be planning on raking and bagging the leaves for us in return for using our yard for a photo shoot. It's weird that they didn't ask for permission, but if they rake and bag the leaves I'm okay with them using the yard." I think to myself.
After awhile I realize they only plan on throwing leaves around, not raking them up and bagging them, so I opened the front door to ask what they are doing. Opening the front door means both dogs run to the door to look outside.
The dogs begin barking and jumping at the front door because of the frantic activity going on in the front yard. I can't get out because I can't get the dogs under control. If I open the door I'll have two dogs running outside chasing kids. Plus I have a puppy who has not yet mastered the "come" command - no way am I going to risk having her run into the street.
Neighbor lady finally notices me and does she come to door to explain what they're doing? NO! All she does is wave. Like I said weird. There's no way I would have allowed my children to play in a neighbor's yard unless 1) they had received permission from the neighbor or 2) they were such good friends with the neighbor that permission wasn't needed. I taught my kids to respect other people's property (that doesn't mean they always did).
I know, I know. I sound like a cranky old lady and it's just a yard. The thing is - I LOVE kids! I'm a clown remember? I make balloon animals and do funny things to make them smile. I paint their faces. I teach Sunday School and put on puppet shows. I play duck, duck, gray duck (or goose if you're not from Minnesota) to keep them entertained when parents are busy.
As I write this I'm trying to analyze why it bothered me so much. I'm not sure. Lack of respect? Lack of common courtesy? Maybe. I think I just wanted them to ask permission first.