So the people who live next door to us have three kids.  I am not exactly sure of their ages, since I tend to only view them as a pair of eyes and hair peeking at me from over the fence.  I am going to go with somewhere between seven through thirteen for total ages.  (And I am only bumping the one boy up to thirteen because I saw him one day spend like an hour talking on a cell phone in the backyard, pressed up against the back fence, as far away from his house as he could get.  I immediately decided that he was talking to a girl.)

Anyway, these three kids (mostly the younger two, I think), spend a good portion of time playing soccer in their backyard.  And by playing soccer, I mean kicking balls against the fence.  Against OUR fence.

This is noisy.

But, eh, it doesn’t really disturb us beyond a very minor annoyance of “what is that noise?!?!”  And I am all for kids playing outside and playing sports and not getting into the drugs and alcohol and all that.  So for the most part, we ignore it and let them live their soccer ball kicking lives.  (They also sometimes play basketball loudly during the baby’s naptime, outside her window, which makes me more annoyed, but they do that a lot less frequently.)

BUT, and here is the problem.  They kick their soccer balls over our fence.  A lot.  Yesterday, there were five different balls in our backyard.  And when I was growing up and we lost a ball in someone else’s yard, we walked to their front door, rang the doorbell, and asked politely if we could go get our ball.

These kids wait for me to open my back door to let the dogs out and then shout at me to throw their balls back.

This means that I have to stop what I am doing (usually cooking dinner), go get my shoes, put on my shoes, go in the backyard, either take a baby with me or listen to a crying baby bang on the back door, and throw all their balls back over the fence.  I suppose I ought to tell them to come get the balls themselves, but that somehow seems…I don’t know, petty?  We don’t know the parents at all, so it’s not like I can casually mention that their kids shout at me over the fence to do their dirty work.  Plus, it annoys me, but it is really a very minor problem.  It’s really just me being one of those people who yells “AND STAY OFF MY GRASS.”  I guess I am just nostalgic for the good old days when we had to go get our own toys and apologize for being a nuisance.

Plus, if you have to go over to a stranger’s house and ask politely to get your soccer ball back, you are a lot more careful about soccer balls going over fences.