Remember the days when kids could roam the streets freely and parents didn’t have to worry? Do neighborhoods like this even exist anymore or is it just a figment of the Beaver Cleaver variety? It seems this all-American ideal community is alive and well in one region of Urbandale.
Mark and Kelli Riley know how special and rare a neighborhood like this is.
“We lucked out,” Mark says.
The couple has two young children, Brody, 2, and Samantha, 10 months, and is thrilled to have landed in such a safe spot. Their house sits in a cul-de-sac filled with more than 20 kids younger than 10 years old; most are younger than 5, who use the entire block as a playground. Everyone is very conscious of all the youngsters and always looks out for one another’s children.
“Nobody goes more than 5 mph,” Mark comments.
This is mainly because the adults patiently share the road with small, inexperienced drivers. All the kids have their own battery-powered cars to motor around in, turning the street into a drivers ed-type war zone.
With young children dominating the households it was inevitable that they would dominate the streets and garages, too. The Riley’s garage is overrun with the kids’ toys. Chief among them is a small, silver, battery-operated BMW convertible that Mark says is hands-down Brody’s favorite.
“He’s recently become mobile and cruises the block,” Mark laughs.
The cars aren’t just Brody’s favorite, but the rest of the neighborhood kids favorites as well.
“You’ll see a little BMW, little red sports car, little Escalade, little Barbie car all lined up in someone’s driveway,” Mark says, turning the street into an exotic car showroom for toddlers, but with far less torque.
“Brody will be going up the driveway and just stop; it’s a lack of horsepower,” Mark grins.
Then Brody sits patiently waiting for someone to help, and someone always does. Brody knows a kind and caring neighbor will eventually come out and give him the push that he needs to ride off in the sunset at 2.5 mph.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”