Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?
We haven’t always had the best relationship with our neighbors. Sometimes we have really messed things up. Ego and feelings have clouded our judgement and we didn’t really care to have relationships with the people living next to us.
When we bought our first house we hadn’t met our neighbors yet. We moved in and kept to ourselves. One night I was home with my two kids while my husband was at work and I got a knock at the door. I opened it and an older lady had told me that she was making taco soup and she wanted to bring some over for our dinner. Free food, heck yeah! She looked nice, we lived in a nice neighborhood so I though she was probably a safe bet. I texted my husband and told him that we were having dinner brought over from the random neighbor lady. He tried to discourage me from eating it, “what if its poisoned, what if you get sick?” Well she came over with the food right then so I put my phone down, chatted with her for a few minutes and set the soup and toppings on our counter. Everything looked great. Cilantro, grated cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole…she had brought over probably 1/2 the Tupperware in her house to bring us this meal. I took the lid off the soup and it smelled heavenly. I texted my husband that I was gonna eat this amazing and generous meal and if I keeled over dead it was the woman next door’s doing. Needless to say, I lived. She turned out to be so kind and we had a lot of positive interactions while we lived there.
Once we moved to our new neighborhood at the coast we had to start from scratch with neighborly relations. We got really fortunate to live on a street with lots of cool people. There are always kids out playing and its like an 80’s childhood all over again. As a mom if I want to know where my kids are I can walk the street and find their scooter or bike and know exactly whose house they are in. Sometimes I come out my front door at dinnertime, let out a long loud whistle and my kids scoop up their gear and come running. It is the perfect neighborhood for children. We have incredible kids on our street with really cool parents. We text and get together for bbqs, birthday parties, holidays and girls nights. We walked the streets together on Halloween…about 20 of us, going door to door and making memories. I love these people.
However…we don’t always do things correctly. We have a neighbor directly next door that isn’t a fan of us…or our dog. We have a golden retriever that really likes being with us. If you know that breed of dog, then you know they don’t do really well with separation. Well my kids had a horrible collision in our house the day before where two of my kids butted heads and my youngest son bit through both sides of his tongue. It was really scary. He dripped blood from the bathroom to the kitchen sprinkling the tile with it as his shirt turned from blue to red around the collar. My husband got home in minutes as we tried to decide what to do…anyways, we made it through that ordeal. I was about 8 months pregnant and stressed out. The day after the tongue incident I decided to take the 3 kids to the beach. They played on the swings and walked on the pier, soaking in the peace. Right when we arrived back home, our neighbor came knocking. I opened the door to see him looking angry. He let me know that he was so mad that our dog was barking like crazy and he was gonna report him. I told him I understood and we had just gotten home, and I would let the dog in. Okay, problem solved…naw, not for this mad guy. He continued to yell at me and tell me that this happens way too often. He told me that he sleeps during the day for work. He kept talking and yelling. I assured him it would be better but he wouldn’t stop. I then slammed the door on him. Haha! I’ve never done that before, to anyone, let alone someone that I would have to see on a daily basis. It wasn’t the first or last run-in we’ve had with him. He isn’t a bad guy, I’m sure, although anyone that can yell at an obviously pregnant lady isn’t my favorite.
We are stuck with the people on our street. It serves us all best if we can find ways to live in sync with one another. For the most part we all go out of our way to provide butter and sugar for each other. We offer support and play dates whenever possible. But even with the ones I love, I make mistakes. Sometimes I say the wrong thing. Sometimes we disagree or step on each others toes. When that happens we do our best to make amends. We know that we are together for better or worse. I can’t say enough great things about my neighbors. I love them. I appreciate the help they give and I love being able to help them if needed. My neighbor ladies came over this week to hang out. One brought pizza, they showed up with wine and drinks, I baked a dessert and we talked and vented and enjoyed one another.
Continue to build each other up. If you are in a neighborhood take advantage of every opportunity to build community together. As the holiday draws near, take this time to reach out. Bake cookies, drop off Christmas cards and begin relationships with those around you. You never know, some of your future best friends may be in one of the houses on your street and you won’t know it until you reach out.