Craig and I love finding new favorite restaurants and meeting new people. We're always appreciative of different city-wide festivals and events, being new residents. It's amazing what the city you live in has to offer when you take a tourist's point of view. And we've become fans of a wide variety of football teams (Go Bears, Go Cowboys, Go Colts, Go Chiefs, phew!). Kansas City does have a professional football team, as it turns out, and the games are probably the best time I've ever had at a sporting event in my life (I think. I'm mostly hammered while I'm there).
Along with a long list of new "favorites" and memories we get new neighbors. We were only 20 when we moved to Texas. Our neighbors were 40-ish year old, legitimate alcoholics. Bad news, right? Not to a pair of underage college kids! We now had a guaranteed supply of alcohol; just had to get past the hair from the 15 cats they owned (not exaggerating) and slurred conversation about broken hopes and dreams (I think. I was mostly hammered while there). *Good times* Our neighbors in Indiana were better. Again in their 40's, with school-age kids, friendly, and were happy to have us over to their basement when there was a tornado warning. That was pretty much the extent of our relationship. We did have that anesthesiologist with the, impossible to understand, Asian mail order bride... err, wife. Anyway... Needless to say we hadn't met any life-long friends or anything.
Then we moved to Kansas City. I would have to say, for all intents and purposes, we hit the "neighbor jack pot"! It fits on paper, same age, same number of kids who are also the same age and same gender, hard-working husbands, stay-at-home moms, etc. Thankfully, they're more than their resume boasts.
My definition of the perfect neighbor...
•It's completely normal to borrow everything from each other including, but not limited to: clothing, steam mops, coffee makers (for months on end), children's toys (and shoes, and hats), standing mixers, cookbooks, yard equipment, washing machines, tools, and general help from each other's husbands.
•My neighbor and I grocery shop as if we share a brain. We buy items with no plan to use them and the other person ends up needing it for dinner that week. It's strange.
•If one of us wants to stay inside all day with our kids the other one is the motivation to take a walk. If one of us wants a latte and the other refuses, it's motivation enough to skip it and save the calories. And on the days where we both want to skip the walk and drink the latte, we're very supportive of one another.
•We showed up on our neighbors' doorstep late one Sunday morning and explained that we couldn't go home for six hours because of house showings. "Yes, come in. Yes, we're in the middle of stuff. Yes, we'll go to lunch with you. Yes, your boys can nap here." No.questions.asked.
•Have a doctor's appointment? Need a night out with your spouse? Just don't want to take one or both of your kids to run errands? Just call your neighbor. 24/7. No advance notice required.
•Invitations to your neighbors' family gatherings are always open. And when your in-laws come in town it's not questioned when your neighbors come along for a photo session.
•We share very similar religious and political views, thoughts, questions... But, mostly we agree that these things need only be discussed in limited quantities.
•We share a lot of common interests being parents, same age, same city, similar backgrounds (you get the picture). What's more interesting is how our differences challenge us to do and try new things. From fashion (or lack thereof, in my case), to parenting techniques, to lifestyle choices, and our relationships with other people, my neighbor's perspective has helped me to be more open minded; and mine for her.
•Our kids are best friends. Two years of Kendan memories have largely included his best buddy. That's a whole other blog for another time.
To say our experience living in Kansas City was enhanced by our neighbors would be an under-statement. My neighbor invited me into the playgroup that has been an integral part of my sanity since moving to a strange city two years ago as a new mom. That alone would have been enough for me to be forever in her debt. But, as you have read, it didn't stop there. They say that once you have kids their friends determine your friends. The parents of the kids inevitably hang out so their kids can play. Fortunately for me, my son's favorite friend has an awesome mom.
Moving is always bittersweet. But, I have looked forward to every move we've made thus far. This time is different. I'm excited for our new house in Dallas and to reconnect with old friends there. But, the thought of leaving this neighborhood and our neighbors is actually devastating. If we had to take our neighbors living across the street into consideration when pricing our home for sale no one would be able to afford it. It would literally be priceless.
|This picture will serve as a reminder that I don't have any pictures of me and my neighbor. Must remedy that.|