It’s been three years since I blogged about wanting to meet more of my neighbors, and I’m sort of ashamed to say it’s taken this long for me to check it off my list.
At the time, I’d only ever talked to one or two of the people living around us. As of today, however, we’ve met eight of the nine families on our block as well as another one nearby. So, did I host a big party or go door to door? Nope! Well, not exactly…
A few of our neighbors were introduced to us in the normal, natural way, even though it took us awhile to get around to it. We met all of our directly adjoining neighbors (next door, across the street) while doing normal activities such as getting the mail, bringing in groceries, etc. These have been only cursory conversations, though, enough basically get a name and kids’ ages, or whatever. We met another neighbor when she brought her son trick-or-treating at our house last fall.
One winter, when I was very pregnant, I met one of the neighbors because my car got stuck in the snow in the middle of the road. And I mean… not just on the road but, like, in the very center of an intersection so that no one could get around me. And with an out-of-town husband and a giant baby belly, there was no way I was getting out of it without help. Since I was in a hurry to get out of the way, I didn’t want to spend time going around to all the families I knew, especially since most of them were likely at work. So I went up to a random house with an open garage. I think they were a little surprised to find a pregnant girl on their stoop, ha ha. But thankfully, the man of the house was home and able to push my car up all the way into my garage. I thanked them a few days later with a pan of brownies. It’s certainly a funny story, so it’s a shame that this neighbor has since moved away.
I’ve had the most interaction with our neighbors, though, since I’ve started staying home during the daytime. I met another mom living nearby. She and her 4-year-old son occasionally play out on their driveway, so I make it a point to stop over and say “hi” when I can. I told her they’d be welcome to come over and play sometime but have yet to make an actual invitation out of that offer.
The neighbor I’ve gotten to know the best is Sue, a middle-aged woman living just next door. She is very outgoing and just loves to see our daughter and talk about what’s new in each of our lives. She has offered to babysit and had me look after her plants while she went on vacation. I knew we had become “real” neighbors when I felt comfortable going over to “borrow a cup of sugar,” as the saying goes. 🙂
Sue, like me, was getting tired of having so many people on the block who’d never met, so she organized a National Night Out party this summer. I was thrilled to see most of the families on our block attend, including three we’d never met before. Everyone had a great time and even expressed interest in more neighborhood get-togethers. Such great news! I do hope that we can make it happen, possibly even yet this summer.
So, I feel confident scratching this item off of my list, but I’m setting myself a few more mini-goals (below) in the hope that I’ll get to know my neighbors even better in the future. We’re expecting to move to a new neighborhood in about a year or two, and I’m committed to being more intentional with getting to know those in the homes around us MUCH sooner next time around!
Goals for getting to know the neighbors:
- Have dinner with Joe and Sue
- Invite Vicki and her son over for a play date
- Have a conversation with Jennifer that lasts more than
one minute …I know, right?
- See another block party happen before we move away.
Ideas: bonfire, progressive dinner, ice cream sundae party
- Go inside someone else’s house to see what it looks like
(The houses on our block are almost identical to one another,
so it’s neat to see how they’re decorated, etc.)