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Over the Fence

While we all know I am a bit partial towards a particular preschooler who happens to have just turned four years old….I really do think that four is one of the most charming of ages.

By that age, most children possess a fairly extensive vocabulary and have begun to put things together in more complex thought processes. Add to this their voracious curiosity and, hopefully, precious innocence and you have yourself quite a show going on during every waking moment.

Exhausting…but very entertaining…

Sometime last winter, one of the houses that backs up to ours became the home of one of these delights, along with a two year old brother. They are a sweet family and we have gotten to know them a bit as the weather gets us all outside more.

Last Friday, we were having company for dinner. Since I only had an hour between work and their arrival to finish up food and preparations, I was moving as quickly as I could.

I hurried out back to throw a cloth over the table and immediately heard the familiar call of the wild…..’Hey!!! Hey!!!”…sure enough a little blonde headed blur was running towards the fence.


Did I mention I was pressed for time?

But how do you explain schedules, and oven times and such to a four year old with big eyes, whose first words after “Hey!” are always, “I wish we could get to you!”….as he looks up and down the fence line. I half expect him to start scaling it any day now….

I headed to the back of our yard and chatted a little bit with him and his mom explaining that we were having guests for dinner.

For some reason I thought it would help me make my exit if I mentioned to him, all four years of him, that it was people my husband worked with and one guy was from out of town.

Mom caught the significance and said they needed to let Miss Laura go get ready. I waved good-bye and returned to tie the cloth down. As my feet hit the first brick step of our patio, I heard one last hopeful plea….”Hey! We’re kind of from out of town too!!!”

Indeed they are. They moved here from another city months ago. It was worth a shot, bless his heart.

Believe me, it was all I could do to refrain from pulling the Little Tykes table out, throwing a few hot dogs on the grill and giving him a hand up over that darn fence.

Sometimes I wish I was more in touch with my inner four year old self.

I hold back…waiting to be included….hoping to be asked…longing to belong….

Maybe I should be more like a kid who hasn’t lived long enough to develop that protective shell that comes from rejection.

To be free, joyful and loving enough to look through barriers to the person on the other side; eagerly and openly expressing my heart’s desire to overcome the breach.

And….Hey!! …. honestly tell them that I wish I could get to them.

May God help you and me to begin to take ourselves (and the possibility we may get turned down now and then) a little less seriously. Who knows what kind of backyard barbecue we may get invited to this summer if we just take a chance on a new friendship.


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  1. I am often feeling 4 over here. Wanting to be included, get to know new friends. Being brave enough to have dinner guests who I don’t know well, but know I would enjoy, and then I do become a little too shy and miss the opportunity. I’m going to change that and be 4, saying what comes to my mind.

    1. It is so hard to “start over” no matter what age we are! Good for you Susan…and I can speak for all the people who love you all and miss you so much — you would be cheating all those folks in your new area of all the blessing that comes with knowing you! So keep inviting and joining in and being your sweet self!!! You are a treasure! <3

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