When I was a kid, we had a block party every summer. Food, bike parades, water balloons, and the never-ending bingo game with the old-school ball tumbler and not a dauber in sight.
Yes, very late 70s, early 80s. There was a lot of avocado-colored Tupperware on the potluck table and a lot of crepe streamers on the bikes' banana seats.
Good times. So good, in fact, that we have sporadically tried to do a block party here on P Street. This year, it really worked, thanks to a certain corner neighbor and her initiative to get the street closed off and circulate flyers.
The kids, who have spent their entire lives being told, "DO NOT GO IN THE STREET!" were completely baffled at first. "What do you mean, I can lay in the middle of the street like a speed bump? WHOOOOO!!! ALL RIGHT!"
Even better than being allowed to sprawl in the middle of the street? The firetruck that showed up, thanks to a neighbor's genius idea.
(Did you know you can call and order a fire truck for an event like this? Yeah. Neither did I.)
For two hours a gaggle of super nice fireman made friends with dozens of our kids and answered their eleventy billion questions and lifted them in and out of the truck and let them try on coats and masks and air tanks. There was no staying back 500 feet.
Beatrix found nirvana. That child climbed into the truck and would. not. leave. She figured out how to seat-belt herself in. She refused to budge as other kids clambered up and over her. She left only to inspect the hoses and tires, then it was back into the cab to sit happily and quietly. Honestly, I think she spent 100 of the 120 minutes in that truck. She was ready to pack her bags and move in.
And Olivia? She was just as enthralled. She impressed the firemen by being able to click out and lift the oxygen tanks and paraphernalia. She and the boys spent a good 40 minutes doing this:
Unsurprisingly, she was a tiny bit exhausted by the time the truck had to go...
Aside: Looks like she's ready for her first diving trip, don't you think? Mwahahahahahahaha.