This is the view of my backyard from my sons’ bedroom. It is not lost on me that short of being outside in the yard, the best view of it is from my two youngest sons’ bedroom. This yard has been an oasis for me (mainly in its creation since most gardeners seldom sit long enough to enjoy it). I love watching the rain nourish it. I love walking in it early on a summer morning listening to the proverbial sound of silence. I love inviting my friends and family to celebrate milestones in it.
And though I love watching my children play in it, I would be lying if I said that I love the plastic.
On those rare occasions when the weeds temporarily escape my notice and I am sitting, I look at the plastic toys–and there are plenty of them–and think about what the yard will look like when they’re gone. A bench here, maybe a fountain there. I dream and design in my head and try to figure out where I could possibly fit a small greenhouse.
But then I stop.
I remind myself that for the first seven years we lived in this house, there was no plastic–just two people who longed to be parents. The yard was lush; the yard was free of Green Lantern action figures and Clone Wars balls and anything from Little Tikes.
Then I do some very quick math and realize with a vengeance that the toys will be gone seemingly almost as quickly as they came. My sons will no longer want to play in a sandbox, on a scooter, or in a $39 pool from Walmart. I’ll have the yard back–and the bench and the fountain and, yes, the greenhouse. Ten years from now there won’t be any plastic–just the memories of three boys who happily played in this space–among the trees, between the flower pots, and with their toys.
As long as they want them, their toys will stay. Something tells me, though, that I might want them a whole lot longer than they will.