We’ve lived here six months and I’ve officially met most of the neighbors. If by met, you mean spoke to once and now occasionally wave as I park the car and shuttle the kids into the house. Most are not home during the day. There are a few kids in the neighborhood but they are all five to eight years older than my kids. The luxury of not being directly attached to the family next door also limits the chance for interaction. As an introvert I mostly welcome this. (My husband is just glad we can’t hear the people peeing through the wall anymore).
It is truly lovely to feel like we have some privacy again. At least now when I yell at the kids I worry less about what the neighbors will think. But it has also caused me to think about what makes a neighbor. There is something to be said of community formed my close proximity. I do wish I had a best friend living next door or even down the block. (I know my daughter does). Even the idea of three generation household has its appeal at times. Yet I value my privacy.
But I have built a community of my own. The women of my MOPS group, they are my emotional neighbors, by proximity of children’s ages rather than our house locations. I’m trying to form relationships among other friends who home school, because that too can be lonely. My co-teachers at my co-op, they are my neighbors too.
I’ve even become part of online community life. No, it isn’t the same as having a friend sit on my couch with a cup of coffee, but it has become an important part of my support structure. My fellow members of Fit2B Studio (especially the long time clients like me), and the faithful members of the home school spin off group on Facebook. These people may not live close enough for me to yell out the window, but they answer my questions, and share my frustrations.
Last but not least is Five Minute Friday. I’ve found neighbors who love words as much as I do and we are all spurring each other on to put those words out there into the world, in all their awkwardness and beauty.