One of my fondest memories from childhood was the suburban neighbourhood where we lived.
No seriously, it’s true. I loved that we knew all of our neighbours, even when we were not always appreciative that they were looking out for each other, everybody was quick to say hello or help with the heavy load of raising kids.
Then I became an adult. Met a boy, bought a house. In the suburbs. No one said hello, no one stops to help. Okay, so maybe it’s because we’re the DINKS and they don’t have time for us childless folk. That’s cool.
Then we had kids. Finally, our chance to meet our neighbours and not just the crazy cat lady next door. Nope, still nothing. I’m pretty sure it’s not just us anymore either. Things have changed, people have changed.
Suburbia now means pulling into your garage grabbing your kids out of the car as quickly as possible and getting in the house before anyone on the street makes eye contact and forces you to say hello.
Suburbia of today means no one knowing their neighbours and none of the kids on the lawn playing until bedtime. When did everyone get so afraid of human interaction? What is the point of moving your young family to a “family friendly neighbourhood” when you have no intention of being friendly.
I see you hurling your kids directly into the house as fast as possible, I see you turning your head when my son rides his bike past you. I see you and I know you see us. What are you so afraid of? Our kids could be riding our bikes up and down the street while we share some day beers and laugh at just how cute our kids are and how great it is that they have so many buddies to play with on the street.
Nope, instead you hide. You hide from the street you chose to live on, from the neighbours that could end up being life long friends.
I challenge all of you, say hello, make eye contact, and maybe just maybe one of these days I’ll bring over a bottle of wine with a cork screw and share a glass on the porch with you.
Maybe. If I’m not too busy chasing my kids up and down the street.