House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Don't Forget To Play

 It begins with pregnancy. The advice storm during pregnancy is just the precursor to the “words of wisdom” avalanche that is making its way toward you. Just when you think you cannot possibly hear one more “vaginal ripping” story, you join the ranks of motherhood and foolishly assume the horror stories are over.
Wrong song, Sally.
It never ends. You hear stories of tantrums, trips to the ER, anal thermometers, and then there are the stories about the children!
Most of these stories bring us closer together. Most of the time, we just need to share a “me, too” moment. We bare witness for each other and we feel less alone.
This is not always the case, however. I love to hear a story that makes me feel better about my own inadequacies. I do not like to hear, “Can I give you some advice?” That never ends well. Trust me. If anyone says that to you, feign a case of diarrhea and run for the door.
Choose the advice you listen to very carefully. Choose your friends  wisely.
The best advice a friend gave me was, “Don’t forget to have fun and don’t forget to play.” At the time, it seemed so simple, so silly. It sounded like, “Don’t forget to breathe in and out each day.”
Those words have saved my bacon so many times. When I have been face down in diapers, swamped with work, overwhelmed by mountains of laundry or so tired that I put the coffee pot in the freezer, I would remember her advice and make myself leave the house in search of fun. I never had to go far because the women in my neighborhood know fun.
Several years ago, we started a neighborhood tradition. We prank each other by leaving bizarre objects in each other’s homes. We might leave a Lil Wayne painting on your mantle. We might place a mannequin on your lawn chair. In the heat of summer, we might leave a life sized Santa on your front stoop.

It is completely immature. It is completely fun.
When we returned from vacation last summer, we were welcomed home by a mannequin on our roof. At bedtime, my daughter said, “When I grow up, I hope I have friends just like yours.” I hope so, too. 
I hope she remembers to play.
I hope she remembers to have fun.
I hope she has friends that will make her belly laugh.
I hope she has friends that will hold her hand when she has an ugly cry.
I hope she remembers that driving a minivan does not mean the party is over. 


  1. Great post! My daughter is preparing for graduation. (I ordered her announcements today, sniff sniff), so this hit home with me because I wish all of those things for her too!

    1. GRADUATION?!? Any tips to get through the teenage years?

  2. Great post! My daughter has said something similar about hoping to have friends like I do when she is old like me, hey, wait a minute! Anyway, great reminder that I am blessed!

    1. I hear ya! I am slowly accepting that I am old but I hope I never act like an old fart!

  3. Once again, I just wish I lived in your neighborhood. This is SO true!

    1. Oh, Hills. Please move here and play with us. I would spoil your schmoopies so hard!

  4. I loved this post. I remember changing 20 diapers (kids 20mts apart and both had the runs!) in one miserable wet cold day in London and wonder what the hell I did to get to this stage of my life. My partner and girl friends kept me sane and helped me get through to it all. Cheers to friends.

  5. Replies
    1. Come on over, I share. We can stalk their houses together!

  6. You really do have the best friends and neighbors. Great post, Kerry!

    1. Well...we didn't want to ruin the surprise but the show is just a ploy to get you here. We have your spot in the 'hood ready. Thanks, Beardy.


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