Family / Kids / Parenting

When Neighbors Aren’t Neighborly

IMG_3413We just bought a house for the first time. I mean, we owned a condo a while ago, but this is the first free-standing structure we have ever lived in after almost 20 years years together. We have a yard and a cool swingset. There’s a place for garden beds and a fire pit and we are a short walk to ice cream and beer. It’s great!

We spent a lot of money and energy making this house ours. We put in windows and added a new roof. We painted every surface to erase the traces of the previous owners.

And then, there are the neighbors. At first, they were so welcoming and friendly. We chatted about our interests and laughed at how similar so many of them are. They filled us in on all we needed to know about our new neighborhood and the other neighbors. We felt so lucky to have them next door.

Then, they stopped talking to us. We had no idea why and when I asked them, the response was, “We can be neighbors, but we don’t have to be friends.” Later, I learned that they are bothered by the noise of my children coming through the new windows we put in (probably among many other transgressions they didn’t bother to tell us). They are bothered by the crying and laughing and music making and joy that pours out of every inch of our new home.

At first, I felt bad. We had put a bunch of windows in the side of the house that faces their patio. Before, there had been none. The house had been a stuffy cave and they liked it that way. It didn’t take me long to realize that, though I hate animosity, I really don’t give a shit what the neighbors think of us!

It has been a really hard year since my twins were born. They are criers and are just starting to sleep. They crawl in opposite directions constantly, not to mention simply that there are two of them. We fucking deserve this house! We have earned the joy and the chaos and the love that ebbs and flows throughout these walls. We have been tested in ways we didn’t know were possible, and we are making our way to the other side.

I hope the neighbors catch some of the bliss that spills out of those open windows. Everyone, even them, deserves a little of that.

PHOTO CREDIT: BETSY ARCHER

Tags: , ,

One Comment

  1. Deborah Goldstein says:

    Good neighbors are such a blessing, and it’s a shame they don’t realize how well they’ve done in the neighbor-blessing lottery. I hope there are other happy neighbors on the block who will make up for the sour pants next door. And congratulations on your new home!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.