Saturday, November 16, 2019

Gender roles

While Andrew was out doing the grocery shopping with Zoë, I pried Rachel away from the game the kids were playing ("We're making our own economy!" Okay, kids) so that she could hold the ladder for me while I climbed up to clean out our gutters (which are full of acorns).

"We are good at gender roles," Andrew joked when he got home.

"Well, which job would you rather do?" I asked him.

"Mmmmm..." he hedged.

"Same!" I said.

So we both got the job we prefer: him—walking down aisles, and me—climbing up ladders.

It works out.


This afternoon the most wonderful thing happened! I took a nap and when I woke up I heard voices—unfamiliar voices—coming from outside. Our neighbours are very quiet people (quiet as in: does anyone even live there?) so I thought that was strange. I looked outside and saw no one.

So I came downstairs and checked on the kids, who were all playing downstairs, except for Zoë, who was watching Hello, Ninja, and Alexander who had been watching with Zoë but had gotten too sad and had gone to hang out with Andrew in the office.

That didn't explain the mysterious voices that I was still hearing.

As I was walking back through the music room, I saw some kids through the window, so I pulled aside the drapes and waved at them. They waved back and, now that they'd been spotted, decided to shyly shuffle their way to the front door. I opened it up.

"Hey, guys!" I said.

"Hey," they said.

"What's up?" I asked.

"We're just...playing," they said.

"Very fun," I said. "I...have some kids. Did you want to meet them?"

"YES! That's why we came over."

"I figured. Let me call them for you."

So now my kids are playing with a couple of kids from the cul-de-sac around the corner from us. They're older kids—more Miriam and Rachel's age—which is nice because we have several little friends on our street but not many big friends. One of the boys goes to a private Christian school and the other one (and his little sister, who will be 10 next month, but she isn't playing today because she's not feeling well) is homeschooled!

We saw them (the brother and sister) a few weeks ago as we were driving out of our neighbourhood. They seemed to be scoping out our house then, but we couldn't stop to talk so we just waved excitedly and drove on. They were a rather conspicuous pair, one with a big nerf gun and the other with a clipboard. I don't know what they were doing but I said to myself, "I bet they're homeschooled."

On Halloween we discovered their house, which was decorated in a rather fun way, while we were out trick-or-treating (the pair had come to the door to hand out candy) and we talked to them for a minute, but it was getting late so we moved on, after mentioning where we lived and telling them to come find us.

Last week we returned to the house to check out their cul-de-sac in the daylight. It's not one of our ordinary walking routes, so we haven't ever made it to the bottom of the cul-de-sac where they live. Turns out they have a zip line and all sorts of fun things in their front yard. But they weren't outside playing (it was a freezing cold day, though, so I can't really blame them for that).

Anyway, we returned home and I said to Andrew, "I'm still like 95% sure those kids are homeschooled..."

Andrew thought it was silly of me to think that because you can't tell someone homeschools just by looking at them (which is kind of true, I guess, but also...apparently not true because apparently I can). So, they're homeschooled. I was right! And they live right around the corner and, with their other little friend, found our house and invited our kids to romp around the neighbourhood with them and...I just think that's very exciting.

I suppose the only thing this has to do with gender roles is that when I was waiting for the kids to come to the door to meet these boys I said, "I only have two boys. This one (Alexander), and a seven-year-old. My oldest two are girls, and then there's Zoë (on the couch there)."

And they said, "Oh, we don't mind playing with girls!"

They're just so excited about having kids to play with. I guess all it took was us telling them to come find us because they used to play with the boys who lived in this house before, apparently (the older boy at the door had told me that was another reason they'd stopped by, just to check up on the house; "It looks about the same," he told me. "Just a little fuller of people.").


  1. Cute! I hope they and your kids become good friends!

  2. Yay for neighborhood friends! What is the point of living in the city if you can't have neighborhood friends?!

  3. Nerf gun and a clipboard!!! I love that detail. They sound like awesome kids.