Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Whenever new neighbors would move into our neighborhood, my mother would welcome them with homemade bread or invite them over to dinner. After I got married, I invited new couples to our home. Very few of them became lasting friends. Often, including when I was growing up, people would accept my friendship until they found their niche and forgot me. Ever since we moved out here, I've only invited a handful of people over, some who are good friends now and some who are not.

The first street we lived on housed mostly single students. We didn't have any problems until Caden was born and partyers moved in next door. Every weekend we had to call the cops. Fortunately, they moved out after that semester. Then we were transferred to another house for safety reasons. The cul de sac was mostly deserted, but more people moved in at the start of fall. I didn't bother getting to know anyone.

I usually take Caden to the park, but after my mother visited and cleaned up my backyard last month, I let Caden play outside. The yards are not fenced and are circled around a little grassy area, connecting the houses on my side of the cul de sac with the three houses on the street behind us.

The boy to the far right is the one who played with Caden.

Monday a young boy, who lived next to a family I knew from church, was outside too. My sister-in-law was here with me and went out and introduced herself to the boy's mother and dog. I was polite but a little standoffish at first. Once I began talking to them, I realized I liked them. The six-year-old boy was very smart, sweet, and silly and didn't mind playing with my eighteen-month-old son. They invited us to play on their slip n slide later that afternoon. When Caden woke up from his nap, I put him in last year's swim outfit, which surprisingly still fits him, and went outside to join the family I knew and the neighbors I just met.

Caden had a blast playing in the water and with the other children. After the other family left, he stayed outside with the other boy for another hour or so playing with the trucks the boy had given--yes, given--him, while I talked to the mom. The boy asked if he could knock on our door anytime to see if Caden could play. I was so touched by his desire to play with a toddler and the fact that Caden made a new friend. Yesterday we knocked on his door to see if he could play, and he did.

I am so sorry I did not step out of my comfort zone sooner and get to know our neighbors, especially since we're leaving in a few months (closer to Justin's work in Scottsdale, Keshia). I really want to throw a neigborhood party now so that I can meet the rest of my neighbors.


Mrs. Sanchez said...

YAY!! I like this post a lot. It took us a ridiculously long time to get to know most of our neighbors, maybe a year. Then we had a neighborhood (apartment complex) bbq and everyone appreciated getting to know each other. We made a "directory" and then were so excited to say hi to each other. At first, my next door neighbor was a tiny bit annoying. Not really, but he kept coming over to ask to borrow things. Soon we realized that we could ask him to borrow stuff too. I think he kind of taught us what being a neighbor was about a little bit.

I've found with kids (and dogs too) people are a lot friendlier. Believe it or not Cheski, we have "play dates" with the dogs. Oso has a few doggy friends we do play dates with and I've become friendlier with the owners (although I never would have met them otherwise).

I think you should have a neighborhood party. Hope this starts you off to a healthier and happier relationship with those who live so closely around you.

By the way, I've missed reading your blog. I'm glad I stopped by again.

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