Kids at play

Monday, 27 October 2008

The family next door to me is Ethiopian, I think. I don't know any of their names. There are two children. The youngest is about 3, and often his ball comes over my fence. A while ago he climbed up on the fence while I went and got it and threw it back over. We had a conversation involving no language. He is so cute I want to squeeze him until he squeaks.

I noticed since then that for a while the ball seemed to be coming over the fence even more than usual.

I haven't seen him for a while. I can hear him though, right now through the lounge room wall, him and his older brother playing together. Well, as is so often the case, him crying and his older brother yelling. Yelling in a way that is learnt, in a voice full of fury and anger. What have these boys seen? What have their parents seen? It is hard to know. Even if we were to have a conversation, I hardly ever see them, and when I do the mother ducks her head. There are so many hurdles to be overcome to have any sort of conversation at all. I feel self-conscious. I feel I lack the strength to jump hurdles. I can throw balls over fences, though. I guess that's something.


  1. That IS something, because it's relational.

    My boys have just become friends with some Vietnamese boys who live a few blocks away. I went over there with my boys the other day, and the woman had been cooking...homemade eggrolls and such...yumm! But I had just eaten and wasn't really wanting anything, but she kept offering me, and soon I remembered that in some Asian cultures it's rude to refuse then I ate and she was happy. She sent us home with mounds of wonderful goodies, too...

    I do hope all is alright with your neighbors, but then my boys scream ferociously at each other too...I suppose I've failed that way because I'm a bit of a yeller...but I think it's also just something about being brothers.

  2. i hope you will keep trying to jump the hurdles! i imagine it will be well worth it. we had a family from eritrea (neighbor to ethiopia) as neighbors for awhile. they were amazing friends and shared wonderful coffee and culture with us. it was a hurdle for me to step into their world and i have been eternally grateful for the memories shared with them.

    i look forward to hearing abou how the games of catch (or ball over the fence) progress with you and your young friend!!


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