It’s 8:30 AM on Friday afternoon. I’m in my home office writing up some media plan with the cool breeze coming through the windows and John Mayer’s guitar rolling through the room.
I hear “DAD CAN WE WAIT FOR MY FRIENDS?”. I look out the window. The next door neighbor’s 9 year old is on his bike with his helmet and backpack. He’s furiously riding past my house to see whether Logan is almost ready to go.
Suddenly, there are droves of people going by: children from 5 to 11, mommies with strollers, daddies with doggies. All pairing up to get down to Homestead Elementary. It’s the first day of school in my neighborhood, I realize.
I pause. I always wanted this! I grew up in a neighborhood where we could run outside with God-knows-who until dinnertime or bedtime and return safely home in the evening tired and happy. As I dreamed of starting my own family, I imagined that we would raise our kids in a neighborhood like the one I grew up in, if that still existed.
And here it is out my window. In fact, here it was all summer long. I live on a court where these same kids played outside all day long for the last three months. The neighbors threw their own mini-block party for just members of the court, complete with bounce house and games. I know more neighbors’ names now than I did from every address previous to this put together.
My husband and I talk about moving every day. Our neighbors are selling their houses in 24 hours or less. We think we want to go to the city or to the golf course neighborhood or some shit. But in doing that, do we sacrifice this sense of community?
Goddamnit, the last thing I need is another criteria for our perfect “long term home” (which anyone who knows us knows is a joke. We can’t stay anywhere very long). I guess I need to stay forever now.