Coming of Age

The Kids Are(n’t) Alright

The Kids Are Alright is a song by The Who about the chaos that growing up can be, but still coming out of all the mistakes and mischievery alright. The Kids Aren’t Alright is a song by The Offspring featured on their Americana album which I listened to everyday when I did my math homework in 7th grade. We’ll call it a phase. Is this about to be some manifesto on the status quo of US children, you ask? No. Absolutely not. There wasn’t much going on for me today so I decided to channel my inner Hitchcock and stare out of my bedroom window and observe for a few hours. (It’s a Rear Window reference) Ok that’s not true at all, but I did peek out my window once and saw one of my new neighbors for the first time. They’ve just moved in and I had only seen a truck outside their house so far. This is more of an interesting development than you may realize. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life and we’ve always had the same neighbors to one side of us. But the other side… well that’s an entirely different story. There was the old couple with the 3 legged dog. They hung around the longest and were plenty nice. I can’t remember why they left actually. Then things started to get a little more interesting. Next there was the family I never saw. I have no idea how they they did it, nor do I exactly desire to know, but every time I would step out of my house I would hear their front door close, or the garage door would be coming down. Honestly, it was impressive. Then there was the young couple. They only lasted a few months. The only memory I have of them is something about their grill. That’s probably more than they want me to remember. I think they may have been a little shady too. I know there was another strange group next, but I can’t recall much about them either. Next was the last family we had beside us. Totally cool, two little kids and a Boxer puppy I got to play with a few times. They moved because one of the parents jobs. For some odd reason people just can’t seem to last there very long so I’m interested in finding out what’s going on with this new crew. Where the title of this post comes in is that I also found out today our new neighbors have two daughters, Mom said they were around 6 or 7 I think. Well apparently they’ve adapted to the move well because word on the street is they’re the leaders of the new street gang. It’s funny because I’ve been away at school for two years and although I’m still home for summers and around from time to time on breaks, I’m not keeping track of everyone else on the street. The next thing I know there’s a 5 on 5 basketball game going on in front of my house with all these kids I don’t recognize. Apparently the twins down the street are 8 now and the family that moved up the street a few months ago has twin daughters around that age, too. It took me by surprise and made me realize my age (As I type this a swan song slowly sneaks through my cracked door and tickles my once young ears), but there’s a new wave of kids on the street. I was actually happy to see it as our little road has been pretty dead since my own street gang, (shout out to Stu, Jing, and Matthew) went on to bigger and better things. Actually if I’m honest, I guess my brother was in the original neighborhood gang when we first moved into our house. All of this is bringing back memories of Kid Olympics, the Jungle which was really just the center of the cul-de-sac (I get why it’s spelled like that, but I’ll never be ok with it), and Cops and Robbers which was really just tag, but we scattered our bikes, skateboards, and scooters throughout the street which increased the stakes and hijinks I think. You can’t be king forever though. There’s always gonna be someone trying to gun you down. I’m forced to reminisce as I watch new games unfold, new cheaters, new fights, and new triumphs. No one will ever break my luge record though. We used to fill the street with these crab apples that grew in front of my house and you would sit on a skateboard luge style and pick up as many as you could as you worked your way down the steep hill. I still have scars on my hands from it. Also funny is the fact that my parents had to go outside and school the neighborhood parents on how all of this works. This is the first street rodeo for a lot of the parents I guess. Mom was laughing at one of our neighbors because she was standing on the porch with a stern face like a watch out, or maybe some really high intensity lifeguard. She went over and told her to relax a little bit, maybe bring a book out and at least sit down. I understand though, all the parents are nervous, trying to see the next car come down the street even before they turn on our road, making sure no one is taking advantage of calling their own fouls for the basketball game, and everyone, absolutely everyone, has to have their elbow guards on while they’re scootering about. You gotta be careful, I know, but I think the kids are alright. Me on the other hand.. I’m still getting lost in my mind and writing this blog so I really don’t know what to tell you. Five days in a row, I definitely didn’t think I would take such a liking to this. A confidant has suggested that it’s time to to turn on my social media beacon. I’m gonna start working on it.

Also this made me laugh probably more than it should have.

END

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