"Let's just fight!" he shouted out to his friend who was running ahead. When the friend failed to stop running or to respond, he called after him. "Dude! Dude!"
The friend, who wore a rather regular shirt and was device-less, had his own plans. "Let's just run!" he called back to his fighting-obsessed friend.
We jogged on and left the boys to continue the debate over fighting vs. running as the superior pastime.
A few weeks ago another kid popped into our weekend wielding chalk. She sat on her stoop as we walked to the grocery store, surveying a heavily decorated sidewalk. We stopped for a minute to admire the drawings. "A lot of people have been signing their names" she said. We took the hint and added our own names. I felt the occasion called for my most fancy signature. "I can't read cursive" the girl said as she looked over my shoulder, so I translated. We went along our way, impressed by the girl's ability to employ neighborhood residents in the creation of a sprawling masterpiece.
I'm also sometimes entertained not only by the kids being kids, but by the parents managing those kids. As I walked into the mall the other day, I hear a mom behind me setting the groundrules for her two sons as they approached the door.
"We're not playing 'Touch Your Brother and Make Him Cry,' we're not playing 'Run Around the Store.' Keep your hands to yourself and don't bother anybody."
As a shopper on a mission that did not include tripping over or colliding with any children, and as an anybody not wanting to be bothered, I very much appreciated this mom's no-nonsense lecture.
On the weekends, I get a break from having to have to tell any kids to sit down, to finish their work, or to stop nibbling their classmates, but still get to be amused by them.