Growing up, I did not really want to be on a farm. I wanted a 'real' address--one with a STREET NAME and not a mail route and box number. I wanted a paved driveway that I could skate on, or draw hopscotch on, or hell, just not get gravel scrapes on. I wanted neighbors...and yeah at some point a family built a house like 1/4 mi from our house, but that's not exactly what I wanted. I wanted, *gasp!*, suburbia. But those are not things you get when you live on a farm. You get 55 MPH no-line-in-it asphalt roads at the end of your looooong gravel driveway, and corn fields around your house. Now, don't get me wrong! There was a lot of good I got, too. I generally enjoyed it on the farm, though I suffered from a bad case of not-green-enough-grass-itus.
In college I finally had the 'normal' address. And cable. And the houses, I swear, had to be on 1/8 acre lots, if that. Fast forward a bunch-a-buncha years and I live in a very densely populated area in one of the largest cities in the country. I have neighbors out the wazoo.
Oddly, I'm not as interested in them as it seems like people assume I would be. I have puzzled over this from time to time. When we moved into this neighborhood, I was 7+ month pregnant with Carter and it was summer. We had already been active in a playgroup, which was in its heyday at that time, so I suppose I did not want for activities, and when we were home, I was unpacking, mothering, or resting...or in the pool. We made the acquaintance of our neighbors across the street and to both sides of us, but they are all older, with adult children. So, time passed. And we played with the friends we had already.
My husband's one somewhat irrational fear also came into play. See, he is NOT a fan of front yard playtime. It's silly, and feels REALLY silly typing it out, but here it is: Psychos have, on occasion, chosen prey when driving around, iresistably drawn to a child or children after seeing them. As I said, irrational, but Paul can't bear the worry that I and the kids will be in danger from being in the front yard. My gentle reminder that our street is not a through street meets deaf ears on this one. Paul's generally laid back and gives me a lot of leeway, so I let him have this one. While chuckling to myself because, well, ya know, it's a bit coo coo, but then again in the same chuckle I remember he just loves us and if keeping it to the backyard makes him sleep better at night, then it's a small price to pay.
However, it does contribute to my lack of neighborliness. We're not out there, so we probably miss a lot of opportunities to meet and play with the children on our street of the same age. And there are a few, I am sheepishly learning. As in, oh, like 4 of her classmates in her grade alone and many more older and younger. Whoops!
Silly farm girl, I am, I forget there is a populated world outside my door when I close it. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. Time to try to learn a few new tricks, I suppose. to that end, a friend of Bun's lives ~6 doors down, and we're going to meet her at the park in a couple-few days after school. Who knows, maybe we'll even meet *all* the kids on our street someday, haha.