We’ve lived in our current neighborhood for over five years. When we moved in, we had a one-year-old and a sense of hope that we’d be able to build a strong bond with our neighbors. We wanted our son to be able to run between yards to visit friends – and watchful eyes would follow to make sure each child was safe and staying out of trouble.
It’s hard to know when you buy a house how the neighbors are. Sure, questions can be asked and research can be done, but people come and go and personalities don’t always truly click.
So, I feel incredibly blessed that we’ve hit something of a nieghborhood jackpot, one which over the years has only added more and more wonderful people (and lost a few, too).
Our neighborhood is filling with many welcoming and kind families.
We’ve housesat for neighbors, we’ve collected mail. We’ve had neighbors mow our lawn (unrequested), they’ve cared for our cats while we’re away, and they’ve even watched our children. I love knowing that if things hit the fan, I can run to any number of houses down the street and ask for the help we need!
When we go for neighborhood walks, we always run into someone we know. It’s a greater sense of community than even the neighborhood I grew up in in the 80’s and 90’s. Based on our prior neighborhood expereince, I was afraid this sort of close knit ‘hood didn’t exist anymore.
Of course there can be problems and drama, but we can still come together to set off fireworks on the 4th, watching our children roam in packs between activities. There’s a neighborhood kickball game coming out at the end of August, all are welcome.
There are neighborhood text chains among the men and women… sometimes just for funny running commentary – other times for advice or camaraderie.
Sure, I’m not best friends with the whole neighborhood – but I know everyone’s names and I have a general sense of people. And I am becoming quite close with a few – taking weekly or nightly walks.
Just this month, a new family moved in with children the same ages as my own! My kids are over the moon to have new friends to play with who will be in their grade, on their bus, at their school.
I know things can sour over time, feelings can change and fights can happen. Through it all, I’m hoping we can all maintain the same kind of baseline respect and care for the neighborhood. It serves us all well to care for all our children, homes, and selves. It’s what really creates a beautiful day in the neighborhood!