The Poplar Street Boys

For about ten days now (I really don’t count those anymore), a small band of probably-someday-wayward boys show up on the edge of my lawn.

Initially, they just wanted to play with Ashton even though they could have no idea how old he was. They, these boys range from seven to 13 so they didn’t care one tiny bit how old he was. Then, he took his Ninja Turtle hat off.

No filter. What’s wrong with his hair? My Grandma has Cancer! Where’s his daddy? I ain’t seen my daddy since I was born. Me neither. Me neither. Me neither. All with wild hair and tough as nails, no helmets, no pads, no expletives.

Ashton showed him ALL his tubes and we carefully explained. They said, “Can he ride with us?” I said HELL, yeah.

So. Next thing I know I am running down the street in flip-flops chasing a rogue group of boys who have my bald son on training wheels smack in the middle of the pack and he is belly-laughing so hard I’m afraid he’s gonna flip. They were and are so protective of him.

Yesterday was the most amazing visit of all. Seems I am the neighborhood Mom, now. The just congregate at the edge of the grass until I say hey! And they flock. I happened to have the mower out and I happen to be a complete DING-DONG when it comes to starting it. So, the littlest one, TAY-TAY, he comes over and does something-something to the choke, pulls that thingy-thing and BOOM, it’s going. So, I am pushing this thing as hard as I can and guess what lawn mowers have? Self-propulsion. If you know how to activate it.

These boys waited ten minutes for me to mow about ten feet of grass so we could ride. Then, one says, hey, push “this”. And the lawn mowed itself, essentially, from that point on. Uncle Ryan showed up and did the back. THANK YOU!!

We have to cross a fairly busy street to get to where these boys want to go after the mowing. They all want to go to the fire station. I’m like, oh, hell. One of these kids is going to die and I don’t even know where they live or what their last names are. We made it across the street by the hair of our chinny chin chins and  boys rang the fire station bell.

The men looked at our motley crue and you could feel the exasperation. They were probably napping.

Nevertheless, the boys are clambering all over a truck and the CHIEF comes out. His name is Tyler, like Ashton’s middle name. He took us to the ER last week via ambulance.

He is a very sedate man. He had a pad of paper and a pencil and he said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” I was like, please don’t ask me for my number cause I can’t handle that. And then he asked me for my number.

He said, “I would like your number because we have been talking and we want to make your son an HONORARY FIREMAN. Picnic, family, friends (of which I have none) and the works.

Small towns are not so bad.

Then, I took the whole gang back home. My House. And they stayed for  hours and Ashton played hard with his pants falling down and hitting with a  bat as far as the 13 year old. These kids were kicking butt and taking names. No Mercy. Filthy.

Then, when I was two hours behind schedule for preparing for my daughter, they were on the porch, calmly playing superhero action figures.





  1. Lauri H.

    Oh Erin, by far my favorite post of all. What an amazing adventure. So glad to hear of the good things happening during this roller coaster. And the smile I can hear just warms my soul

  2. kimberly kuehneman

    So funny about the propeller on the lawn mower. I moved the lawn for the first time a week or so ago and my husband didn’t tell me about the propeller until I was half done with the lawn. He said he thought I knew! OK…I have never mowed the lawn before but of course I knew about the propeller! Duh! lol

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