I didn’t feel like going for a run yesterday, but I’m so glad I did. I took a left out of my driveway and a then a right. As I got into my rhythm, I noticed the lawns of the neighbors’ houses. Some had Easter decorations and one had a brown Christmas wreath still hanging on the door. There really wasn’t any activity. People were cooking dinner or on their way home from work. I imagined homework getting done or videogames echoing in the house. I rounded the corner and I was surprised to see people outside.
Two young children were running on the grass and one other child was dribbling a basketball at the end of the driveway. The father waved as I passed just after he shot the ball into the hoop. Behind him was his wife, dressed incredibly nicely, as if she just arrived home from work. I looked back and saw her shoot the ball next.
I looked back a second time and wondered, when was the last time I saw a family playing outside together. Everyone was engaged in activity and enjoying the moment. I didn’t see any cell phones, or hear “I’m too busy” or “wait just a minute.” Maybe it was the fact that two adults were shooting baskets, not just watching.
On my way home I passed by the house again. No one was outside, but on the ground in front of the basketball hoop was evidence of a game of hopscotch. I imagined each parent taking their turn and laughing as they tried to keep their balance on one foot.
What a great reminder. We are never too busy or too old to play.