Sunday, April 29, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor?

I've written here before about my neighbor who thinks my son is too loud when playing outside.  Yes, she still thinks he's too loud.  And, yes, she still yells at my son to keep it down. 

Imagine my surprise when I read a Dear Amy article in the Detroit Free Press from a woman who was "very annoyed by the noisy kids next door (boys who are 6 and 8)."   Here is the posting in its entirety with Amy's response:

Dear Amy: We are very annoyed by the noisy kids next door (boys who are 6 and 8).

They play basketball for hours seven days a week, while bouncing multiple balls at once, often with several friends. There is screaming, yelling and a yappy dog.

My husband has asked the parents several times for the noise to be lowered a bit, and things would get better for a day or so, but then it ramps back up again. The mother said we are the only neighbors who have complained. She said, "My kids deserve to play for a few hours every day."

We're at our wits' end and hope you can suggest how to get through to these people. -- Neighbors of the Not-Neighborly

Dear Neighbors: Your neighbor kids do deserve to play for a few hours every day.

If you lived on a highway you would have to tolerate traffic noise. You live cheek-to-howl with little boys; noise will definitely happen.

You should ask this family to agree to "quiet hours."

The comparisons in this story are kinda eerie.  I wondered if my neighbor posed as a married woman (she's not) to write this article?  If not, then I guess we aren't the only ones with a complaining neighbor. Or loud boys.

My boys were the same age (they've since turned 7 and 9).  The like to play basketball with friends (although not seven days a week).  There is screaming and yelling, but no yappy dog.  My dog barks, for sure, but isn't yappy.  We've been asked to lower the noise and my neighbor is also the only one who has complained about my kids. 

Weird, huh?  No, not really.  There is nothing weird about boys playing outside and being loud.   Normal, yes.  Weird, no.  

I agree with Amy's answer that "noise will definitely happen."  It's damn-near impossible to tell a bunch of boys to keep quiet.  The same might be true for a bunch of girls, although I wouldn't know. Our backyard is full of boys.

Our other neighbors don't seem to mind the noise.  Most people just like to hear the sound of kids laughing and playing.  

Someone named James responded to the Dear Amy article from Not-so-Neighborly.  Here is his response:

Dear Amy: "Neighbors of the Not-Neighborly" don't like the sound of their neighbors' kids playing outside.

After my own kids grew up and left home it was much too quiet around here until my neighbors' kids started playing basketball. I loved every minute of the squealing, yells, shouts and bouncing balls that I could hear coming from next door.

Now they are grown, too, and it's too quiet again. Perhaps these noisy kids can move next door to me and make my day again! -- James

Dear James: I'm with you!

I'm with James, too.  The sound of my kids' laughter when playing, whether it's surrounded by screaming or yelling or not, is still music to my ears. I, like James, will miss the noise terribly when the noise is gone. 

For now, we will continue to let our kids be kids.  That means playing outside with wild abandon.  

Running, jumping, swinging, laughing, screaming, yelling, fun-loving, happy...noisy, boys.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Kerrie McLoughlin said...

Sometimes neighbors stink! We used to have amazing neighbors ... until ... well, I can't really talk about it online but you bet your butt I'll be telling all once these people move away!!! It will be a total blogfest, baby! Hang in there. Those darn kids, having fun and whatnot. What are you thinking as a mother?!

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