it takes a village...

>> Mar 2, 2010

I've always thought if for nothing else the title of the book spoke volumes of my childhood. I haven't read it so I can't make any statements on what the contents are but the that sentence alone is something I fear our world is losing.

I am no better than anyone else at being a neighbor. I often become somewhat antisocial in some respects to my neighbors. I don't intend on being but people are different now, and often I find they are raising their kids differently and I myself have a hard time biting my tongue on things. When you have a neighbor whose child lies and steals and the parents chuckle and say 'what do you do?' .. well I have a hard time playing nice neighbor. Before you think I'm a horrible person, stick with me my attitude isn't entirely a lost cause. I refer back to the idea that it takes a village and explain, when I was growing up I lived in a village. My neighbors were just as likely to yell at me for misbehaving as my own parents were. My own parents did their share and if someone was acting up they'd scold and give a "Do I need to call your mom?" and it meant something.. because my mom WOULD call their parents. It wasn't just disciplining, I fell off my bike at age 5, rather when I flew off and landed on my head, the first person I saw when I regained consciousness was my neighbor Darby. His wife years later told me she'd never heard him quite so scared in his life when he yelled for her to go get my mom. That was what it was like, you were a child of many. The block was a huge family and network of people that were a part of you, heart and soul. We took vacations together, had cookouts together, spent summer days having huge water fights (one side of the block against the other). It was an amazing childhood with amazing neighbors. Unfortunately, they set the bar so high, it is hard to find new neighbors that live up to those expectations.

In my life I've been blessed with two. One set back in Michigan, the Bates family. They lived next door to us until we both within months moved from the neighborhood due to the economy. They had kids around the same ages as my two older boys and Sarah watched Zach for quite some time when he was an infant. They were good neighbors and I loved that they were good parents who didn't think twice to scold or defend my kids and didn't bat an eye if I told their oldest to stop being a brat to his sister. And Sarah if you are reading this thanks again for being there when The Great Yard Incident happened.

My second bout of luck was moving to Las Vegas and meeting the Lourencos. I have to say they are an odd bunch, that great mix of sci-fi nerd and indie cool that makes you happy there are people that march to the beat of their own drum. From the mister of the house, Sensei Frank - quite capable of giving my two oldest a good flogging -looking so much like my brother I want to poke his eyes ala three stooge style; to the misses of many names - Ang, Angela, Angie - who can only be accused of being too nice and being too good of a listener (her fault she gets stuck listening to my 4 hour vents on kids, food, tv shows, and any other thing I can talk about to keep her on the phone for "just another minute") and don't get me started on their daughter. She's a kook and growing up to be such a beautiful woman that if i thought I could stop it I'd sit on her. They are no longer my neighbors as I've moved a whole 4 miles away, but they aren't getting rid of me so easily :D I know where they live and am not afraid to drive.

Thanks for this great prompt Sharyn I love thinking of the people who have such an impact on my life now and then.


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