Our longtime neighbor Pat was excited to tell us that the new neighbor had moved in and that he had an opportunity to meet her. "She has a daughter, fourteen years old." At this point his 7-year old daughter chimed in, "and she has a swing set!"
A fourteen year old girl with a swing set erected in the first week? This most certainly captured my attention.
While out on a family bike ride around the neighborhood (and out of the house while I cooked dinner) my husband and children found their opportunity to meet the new neighbors. My DeDe seemed thrilled. She had already set a date to ride bikes together with Jen, seemingly an instant friend despite the three year age difference.
They have played almost every day since. Riding bikes, coloring in the back yard, today they began plotting to make a movie. It has been interesting to watch how quickly my daughter has gravitated to this new girl, a real first. And yes, I most certainly noticed that this kind and outgoing gal had a strikingly familiar set of noticeably studied social skills.
I got my chance to meet the Mom today. We chatted about gardens and the plans she had for hers when she made the slightest comment that she had found the perfect spot to set the swing in the front yard which they had erected immediately because Jen "benefits from constant motion." I suppose I was a bit bold when I replied, "Yeah, I wondered if it might be for sensory needs. My son is a sensory seeking little guy." I think she was a bit surprised at first. But when C.S. wandered over, stepping on every stone, tripping atop her low knee wall and then hugging her, she relaxed obviously familiar with this territory. Our conversation could have continued comfortably for hours, but I had to go back home to make a GF/CF dinner. I have a feeling we'll pick up somewhere where we left off very soon, without missing a beat.
We have a new neighbor, one that makes this neighborhood feel more like a community of mine than it ever has before.
Silver Lining: Play. Regular unscripted, impromtu summer play for the kids. And chit chat about the mommy decisions we make as we struggle to just raise our children. That's the July I am very much looking forward to!!!