this is from the other day... today we took a different route home

The boys each zip past the camera as we roll past Walter Pearce Park in Adams Morgan while we ride our bicycles home from school rather than driving

funny... I had my camera... but I do not think I snapped any photos of the boys and the bikes today
this shot is from earlier this week... or maybe last... hard to tell
life often becomes a blur

the school year is winding down
the option to ride the bikes home from school is soon to vanish
sure their will be rides
but there is something about the structure of the commute-utility ride

we rode the bikes home from school today
but only after we detoured through Macomb Park down the block from their school in Cleveland Park
lots of kids go to the park down the block from school after school, especially when the weather is nice
when the weather is not so nice Macomb Park can be a GHOSTTOWN!

I had nothing structured for the boys after school on this day
no soccer for either of the boys
no karate for either of the boys
no trip to the rope swing for either of the boys
it was hot... but not so hot that it necessitated a trip to the pool like just two days earlier

what to do?

the boys each wanted to go to Macomb Park
it is the tail end of the school year
why not...
as much as I can be bored at the park... the kids seem to enjoy the chaos
free play... play without structure... play by their design
this sort of play is important

it is also important for my boys to get to play with some kids that they may not see much of until the school year next year

I allowed the kids to play loose and unstructured for a bit
then I stepped in with a plan

I orchestrated a kick ball game
not immediately... but after we were there a while
after the boys drank their Gatorade and ate their watermelon
after I thought that the other kids had had enough of riding my boys bikes on the basketball court
after I thought that the kids had all cheated a trip to the ER with the close calls zipping around the park on the "RiP Sticks"

I proposed the game and I gathered some kids
I asked... some kids said no... I asked more directly... turning their malaise into "sure"... this got some "no's" converted into "yes'" but not as many as I had hoped
once I had rallied a good size group of kids I divided the group into two teams and stepped in as permanent pitcher

fast rotations
lots of pop flies... some of which I caught... some of which others caught
my involvement allowed for a good amount of "at bats"
which we all know is the fun part of these games

it shocked me how unfamiliar many kids were with some of the basic rules
rules that would apply to both kickball and baseball
as we played I tried to also instruct them
trying to help them better understand when to tag someone out and when to use the base for a "force out"

I tried to keep the game moving
I tried to keep everyone excited and involved

our game got cut short by a tee ball game that was scheduled on this same space
the parents let us go a little over into their reserve time as they waited for the opposing team to show up

we rode home a route guided by young Grant
it was a

rode home shocked to see that there were no kids in the alley
some neighborhood boys came over and I fired up the grill
Lisa went to a cocktail party with some ladies from the kids' school

now I am going to get a beer and tell the boys to head to bed.

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