“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you! I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together we might as well say, Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor? –Fred Rodgers
This is my love letter to our neighborhood. We live in a very special place. Our neighbors are ahh-mazing. I am surrounded by the most supportive and thoughtful friends I could ever ask for and all within 3-4 blocks of us. Everyone is roughly in the same stage of parenthood with kids ranging from toddlers to early school age. Our kids are buddies and we are each others’ support system. And even the neighbors who aren’t in the midst of their child rearing years are pleasant and generous. Every time I walk out my door, I am greeted by a familiar and friendly face walking past our front porch. Given our urban lifestyle and homes, we all have minimal to no yard space for our kids to run around. Yet we live a stones throw away from a large playground that acts as all of our backyards almost daily. Most days everyone gathers a few hours before dinner to let the kids run wild and the parents catch up on life. Its social hour for everyone, kids and parents. On rougher days, this social hour is my light at the end of the tunnel. And when the weather is not park worthy we’ll even pile into someone’s living room and attempt to still hold conversation over the children bouncing from one wall to another. What I love about this community the most is how everyone will rally to support each other in times of need. I am parenting on my own again these last few days as my husband travels for another conference. It’s only been four nights, but most of those nights we were given dinner invitations by several neighbors. It’s amazing how helpful it is to spend those last few moments of the day with friends when you’re solo parenting. It really makes that last push to the end of the day so much easier.
As luck would have it, half way through this round of parenting alone both my boys have come down with fierce fevers. It’s been so persistent that the usual dose of ibuprofen has only held the fever at bay for an hour or two. Once word got out that I was alone with two sick boys, we have had non-stop kindness at our doorstep from sticker treats for the boys to keep them entertained to left over cupcakes from the party we missed. Our dear friends a few doors down even did a drug store run for me. I feel so supported and loved. This village makes the joys so joyful and hardships much easier to bare. So, thank you, my lovely neighbors. You make this neighborhood a home.