Saturday, April 9, 2016

It's All About Respect

I'm already dreading April and summer vacation. Two words. Human. Kids. On one end of the stick, I love seeing kids outside playing. In this day and age of technology, it's refreshing to see human kids without an iPhone or gaming device in their hands, running around and enjoying the outdoors. On the other end of the stick, they're loud.

Growing up, we had a decent sized front yard, smaller backyard, and spent quite a bit of time outdoors. Sometimes we'd have friends over and spend the afternoon playing kickball or baseball. Regardless of what activity we were engaged in, there was one rule my parents were adamant about. No screaming. That rule was carried over to the kids my mother had in her professional daycare for 20+ years.

No screaming.

There was a reason for that. We had neighbors. In addition, our family house had two apartments upstairs. My parents were the landlords. Back then, to cool off during the warm weather months, people put fans in the windows. No one wanted to listen to screaming kids outside especially those who worked oddball shifts and depended on catching a little sleep during daytime hours.

No screaming.

That was the rule. We got one warning. That was it. After that, we had to go inside. It sucked. We didn't have today's technology to entertain us or TVs and gaming systems in our rooms. Being stuck inside was boring especially if we were given extra chores to do because we broke the rules.

Today, things are much different. Human kids are allowed to play outdoors with minimal or no supervision. They scream. Throw balls up against the house. Run up and down, between the two houses, yelling. Kids ride their bikes and walk around the block. Yelling.

Just for the record, I'm not that miserable "old person" who comes running out of the house yelling back or mimicking "that one neighbor" we all had growing up.

I will admit to sitting at my desk and dropping the F-Bomb under my breath when the noise becomes too disruptive to work and our kids are running around the house barking because the kids are outside of our windows. Screaming. 

What it boils down to is respect. When Lisa and I take our kids outside, we don't stay outside too long if they bark incessantly. It's natural for our kids to bark at this or that, however, we're not going to stay outside if the barking is going to continue, non-stop, for 20 minutes.

We know what their triggers are. We reserve outside playtime when the triggers are minimal. 

No one wants to listen to our kids barking for extended periods of them. We get that and we respect our neighbors.

Is it wrong to expect the same from others?

I'm not craving silence. Unless we live in a remote area with no neighbors or on an island, there's going to be noise.

Does it have to be in excess?

Human kids can play outside without having to scream at the top of their lungs or running close to the side of the house and yelling close to our windows.

I shouldn't have to reschedule meetings or confine myself to a secluded area within our home, put the fan on high to drown the noise, just to get some work done. I don't want to be wakened by excessive and unnecessary disruptions. I work on the overnight. I depend on the occasional nap after dinner to function.

Respect. Is that too much to ask for?

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