I am currently watching my kids play with the kids across the street.
This is a big deal.
You may not think it is a big deal, but in the 3 years the family has lived across the street this has only happened 3 times.
It’s not like they are bad kids or that I don’t trust them.
I don’t even know them.
And they don’t know me.
We don’t have a neighbourhood.
On paper it looks like the most beautiful neighbourhood; we smile as we take the groceries out of our van and we say “Wow, lots of snow, eh?” when we are shoveling. But, we don’t know each other. I have never been invited into their homes.
When I was a kid, I knew all my neighbours.
Like, really knew them.
I knew the layout of each home.
I knew the best hiding places in their yards.
I knew who had fresh baked cookies.
I knew who had company visiting from Red Deer.
I knew who had ripe raspberries.
I spoke to them daily.
Now, you could say it was because that was the kind of kid I was, but I don’t think that was it.
I have heard people say it’s a different time.
But, it wasn’t that long ago.
Some people blame electronics.
Some people blame the loss of stay at home Mom’s.
Some blame the media for telling us that there is a pedophile lurking at every corner.
Some blame the lack of kids on the block.
Some blame that our kids don’t go to their neighbourhood school.
Some blame the architecture of homes. Garages first, living room/media room in the back.
I blame me.
When my new neighbours moved in, I didn’t go over with fresh baked bread and say “Welcome to the neighbourhood.” Maybe I didn’t have the time to make the bread, but I could have bought a bottle of wine.
I didn’t go over and greet them. I wanted to but I had excuses.
I assumed that they had their own lives. That they don’t want to be bothered with my small talk; that they have a million other things that they would rather be doing than have to chat with me and pretend to want to eat my offering.
And it’s not just the people across the street.
I don’t know the teenage boy’s name next door. I have rarely gone out of my way to speak to him.
Or the name of the man who lives on the other side. I have only seen him walk his dog twice; I met his wife a few times but I don’t know their last name.
I can see the people who live behind me on their deck every morning, but I have never spoken to them.
I have never invited the nice couple across the street over for dinner.
I have never offered to house sit.
I don’t know my neighbours.
And I don’t know how this happened.
I wasn’t raised this way.
Not all neighbourhoods are like this and I know that. I have a friend who lives in a cul de sac of potlucks. Shared beers over the fence. Doors slamming as kids run in and out of homes. In fact, we do have neigbours a few houses up who shares in our love of watching the kids play in the sprinkler while we drink beer on a hot August day. It has taken 5 years but we are starting to get to know some people. But, its still not the same as when I was a kid.
My neighbourhood is the norm.
What happened to our neighbourhoods?
What happened to me?
Hey thanks for being here. If you are new to Mommy’s Weird you may want to learn more about me or watch me hit Jillian Michaels while Tyra Banks was watching!!! SERIOUSLY. IT REALLY HAPPENED!!!!!