There is a house I pass on my morning walk every day. The yard is a mess. It's not just strewn with toys, which, while maybe is maybe unsightly, isn't a great offense. There are toys, don't get me wrong, but the problem isn't the toys.
No, it's trash. Literally trash. It's been this way for weeks now. A couple of trash bags were open and the contents were strewn about. The strewing has gotten worse. The bags themselves have been picked up now, but the contents are still all over the place.
This trash is on top of the string of Christmas lights laying mostly in one corner of the yard. I see kids out there playing sometimes on the weekend or in the evenings. They are usually not being particularly nice to one another. Nor do they pay attention to passing cars, playing freely in the street.
Guess who Max wants to play with? Yeah. The little boy who lives there. I won't necessarily stop this from happening, but the timing isn't easy because the little boy goes to day care after school. Thus, it has to be a weekend. We're usually pretty busy on weekends. So, I won't stop it...but I'm not making a great effort to make it happen, either.
Some of his other friend choices? A boy in his first grade class who just turned 8. Another boy who Max tells us picks on other kids. And, of course, the boy who comes over to play sometimes, but with whom Max never seems to be able to find something to do with. Yeah.