When Emily and I moved into our new house late last fall we had no idea what the neighborhood was like. It looked nice and we had a feeling there would be several families with kids, but when you move in November there aren't a lot of people outside. Now that it's officially spring, and we've been having amazing weather, we have a good idea of what our neighborhood is like: chaotic! Honestly though, this relieves a lot of anxiety for me since I'd been a bit nervous of us being "that" family on the block. You know this family...the really loud, always outside being crazy, waving at EVERYONE, and probably running through your yard family. So now that I know just about every other family on our block is that family it takes a lot of the stress away.
As adults, this is our first home in a neighborhood comprised of mostly families with kids and I think it shows how inexperienced we are at living in this kind of area.
- It takes us approximately 3 and a half minutes to back out of our driveway because we have to look all around the car for kids. Seriously, one time I almost made Emily get out as a spotter just to back out of our garage!
- I've also realized that we're learning the difference between "typical-kid's-playing" noise vs. "someone-is-actually-hurt-or-needs-something" noise. There have been a few times that I have thought I might need to call an ambulance. Turns out little Johnny next door took away little Suzi's toy. Not cool, little Johnny! Also, I sometimes feel the need to go break up fights between neighbor friends, but I'm assuming parents would frown upon this? Turns out most of the screaming is out of pure delight over a hose, trampoline or dog.
- There is also one little boy who lives next to us that likes to greet Emily as "neighbor". She told me once when she was working outside he walked by and said, "Hey there neighbor!" and I'm pretty sure she was so caught off guard she almost forgot to say hello back. Did I mention he's about 7 and was most likely carrying a sword that looked a lot like a stick?
- One night last week while Emily was gone our doorbell rang. Not a huge deal...people stop by from time to time, but when I went to the door no one was there. I did what any normal person would in this situation. I closed the door and hid behind the curtains to "catch" the punk kid that is ding dong ditching my house. While I was waiting in our front room creeping out our window, a random kid came walking up our back deck. Here's the conversation that ensued:
Boy: (looking nervous) No.
Me: Do you need something? Everything okay?
Boy: Ummm...do you have a kid I can play with?
Me: (awkward silence passes as I battle with confusion) Nope...sorry I don't.
Boy: (runs as fast as possible off porch and into someone else's lawn)
Me: (standing speechless in my kitchen.....then laughing hysterically)
- There are nights when I go to sleep listening to kids yelling and running around outside. Of course they're up to no good. They are kids and it is late. The reality? I am old and going to bed earlier than kids now. This is who I am. I am that guy who's trying to fall asleep with a nice spring breeze coming in the window and secretly yelling in my head at the kids outside being too loud.
Besides making me feel incredibly old and overprotective, I love our neighborhood. Seeing kids out playing, laughing and yelling, and running through people's yards reminds me of when I was a kid. I cannot wait until our girls are home and can join in on the neighborhood fun...hopefully they are not too freaked out by all the chaos. Oh, wait...they won't be. They are kids.