|Feng Shui - 13 year old boy style|
I heard that quote on a radio interview some years ago. I am not quite so poetic, so more likely would have said, “Until the kid’s leave the house for good, our yard will continue to look like hell.”
Buying a house with a big, fenced in yard was important to Bonnie and me. We had a dog and two boys and wanted plenty of room for all three. What was not considered was that we bought the only house in the neighborhood with a big, fenced in yard. (It has become so popular it is not uncommon at all to have neighborhood kids playing there when my kids are not even home.)
Our yard is now a field…and a beat up one at that. It is not lush, full or thriving. It barely supports life. It does support upwards of ten teenagers at a time, and serves as a lacrosse field, football field, a made-up game field. It does not, though, serve as lawn.
That ship has sailed. I didn’t acquiesce easy. I tried to fertilize, but soon realized that fertilizer is not resistant to the thunderous trampling of kids. (“It weeds, it feeds, it causes third degree burns…keeping kids off your lawn for years!”) Conscientious golfers replace their divots; the boys create them…willfully and with malice.
Aside from a flower bed near the house that my wife tends and small garden in the back, the kids have co-opted the rest. Just yesterday, my son Dylan asked if we could buy some field paint so he could line the yard. He was totally serious. Before I said, “no,” I admit I thought the idea was be pretty cool. That is how much I have given it over to them.
And all of that is okay. It won’t be long until they are gone. The grass will grow. The lawn will be lush, full and thriving. I will miss the clover and the dirt and the weeds. I will miss running over the lacrosse balls when I mow and finding the stray hockey stick. My yard looks like hell, just the way I like it.