My wife and I have lived in our house for almost twenty years. When we moved on this street we were the young family with kids, while everyone else around us were late middle-aged or retired. So for the 70-year-old couples that lived beside and behind us, our yard was the source of screaming kids and barking dogs.
Fast forward to today and my wife and I are now the late middle-aged couple. Over the last five years my street has seen an explosion of young families with small children moving in. I have young kids beside me, behind me and now, just last week, a family with three small children moved-in across the street.
I love the sound of children playing and laughing. I can’t think of any sound other than it is time to eat that is more appealing to me. But a child screaming, that is one of my least favorite sounds in the world. Yesterday I got to experience that again as our new neighbors daughter, what looks like a two or three-year old, sat in the middle of her driveway screaming at the top of her lungs while her mom stood over her. The sound curled my toes but predictably got my wife up off the sofa, away from Ellen, and to the front door to see what all the racket was about. A mother’s instincts I guess.
Of my two children, one was a screamer and one didn’t scream that much. I think it has a lot to do with temperament. As an adult, the screamer is very impatient. There is a right way, a wrong way and then the only way, which is her way. She is meticulous and detailed and gets frustrated when she can’t communicate or we can’t translate what her vision is.
The not so much screamer is more laid back, and more cooperative. She is all about mutual happiness and satisfaction, peace if you will. She doesn’t handle conflict well, at least not as well as my screamer does and she hates to disappoint people.
I don’t really have a point to all of this, I am not even sure where I was going other than to say, I really don’t miss the sound of a screaming kid. If I am lucky enough to be around still when my children have children I can just hand a screaming grandkid back to their mother. That is the joy and one of the rewards of being a grandparent isn’t it?