There was a horrid ad on the radio tonight. Someone pretending to be an old woman, bemoaning ‘today’ and fondly remembering the past. When you could leave your back door unlocked, when you knew your neighbours – blah blah.
We moved to our suburb in the year Squidge turned two. We didn’t really know anyone. We nodded at our neighbours, said hello but had no real connections in the area. While the suburb isn’t a new one, it’s taken a while for it to take off and it’s only in the last few years that we have a little shopping centre that we can walk to. Before that, everyone drove out of the suburb to get what they needed, even just if it was milk or to post a letter.
I met a lovely lady at the park one day – both pregnant with our second child. We chatted, found out we lived near to each other and later on that day dropped my phone number in to her house. She’s moved out of the suburb but we’re still friends. Our boys started kindy together, our second babies born 2 months apart. Our children still go to the same school.
It’s been through school that we’ve made most of our connections. First with Squidge’s class. The connections we made in kindy are still strong now which is good – for us and the kids. As Squidge progressed through school his friends often resulted in friends for us in their parents. And now Bruce. It didn’t really happen in kindy like it did with Squidge, but in pre-primary I’ve again found a lovely group of people to connect with and forge bonds that I think will last a long time.
We’ve grown close to some of our neighbours – again the bond being our children, their strong desire to play with their peers ensuring the parents connect (the occasional Friday evening drinks on the front lawn don’t hurt either!).
I love that I have friendships which mean I can call on them or they me to collect kids after school because something’s cropped up. I love that our children can, to some degree, wander freely between houses on our street and we know they are safe, having fun and are well fed (always well fed).
I really enjoy our little community that we’ve found ourselves in and have built around us and I appreciate that my boys, through making friends, have in turn made friends for us too.