Monday, June 13, 2011

Neighbors and Their Children

We had, a few month ago, new neighbors move into the home across the street from us. Previously this and one other home had been occupied by drug addicts, lost people in general. I  am not judging I was among the lost for many years. Needless to say we were apprehensive when the home became suddenly full of life. This is a small older mobile home, with a large lot, also a cyclone fence around it. As it turns out a family of 2 parents and 3 children had moved in, a fairly young couple, by my standards,  the kids being 2 girls, about 8 & 6,  a little boy 4. The are always supervised and under control of one of the adults. I was surprised at the amount of interest these parents have in the family. I am not used to seeing it,  when I was raising mine in this manner; (as much as I was capable) , I felt like a dinosaur.

A second family had moved in a little further down the street into another empty mobile home of the same description. The kids, as is their wont, had met and were riding bikes together and playing on the sidewalk. Kids make friends so easily. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and joy in each other. I was working in my yard , I over-heard the little dark haired girl from the second house ask the little blonde girl from the first house if she could come in her yard to play. My biggest shock of the day was when I heard the blonde girl say:" I have to ask my mother first, and she will want to meet your mom." The little blonde ran home and got her mom who went over and introduced herself, other kids in tow. I didn't hear what was said but all the children were playing together in the dark haired girls yard while the mothers visited. Later when the Daddy from the first home came home he and his wife walked over and met and visited with the daddy of the second house. I felt reassured. Never-mind that none of this was my business, I had my heart warmed by it.  Lest you think I spend my days watching and listening to my neighbors I assure you this is not the case.

Days later as I was watering out front I heard the older blonde girl screaming,"Daddy, Daddy, she riding her bike, she is doing it. DADDY she is riding the bike." Soon daddy came running out with little brother tagging along, and was jumping up and down happy for the smaller girl. Here came mommy so excited she could barely contain herself. Older girl to little girl, " I am soo proud of you, you learned so fast, just in one day." "it took me almost a week to figure it out."  "You are doing so good." The respect she spoke to her sister with was astounding to me. Mom, "daddy just took the training wheels off this morning." "I am so happy for you honey." Everyone was involved in the congratulations. The little one already knew the rules of where she could ride and how to handle cars, her parents went over this with her one more time before they set her free.

These folks do not use obscene language or spend their days screaming at their children in verbiage that would embarrass their children as I have heard so many do. I worked in public for a long time and I can attest to the fact that this is indeed a rare family.

I am so pleased to hear the kids being called in to dinner at the same time every day and on week ends being asked if there chores are done. I am pleasantly surprised and astonished at the old family values being instilled in these children and the structure they have in their lives.

These people are people, that to look at them; I think their values might be questioned or maybe it was just me. They are poor in dollars, (they live in a run down mobile, drive a run down car and wear well worn clothes.)  but rich in life. I have been dollar poor since I left my dad's house, but like my neighbors I am probably one of the richest people I know.

I am ashamed of myself, how cynical I have let myself become. How I, of all people could jump to conclusions as I did with these families, has baffled me. I assumed because of the past history of these homes that nothing but trouble could possibly move in. I will be watching myself a lot closer from now on and be careful  what I say and think. A lot of people judged me, many times they were right, I wonder if they ever looked at themselves first. Everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves.

As I said in the beginning ; it is none of my business what my neighbors do. It is just nice to share something positive about the world rather than the hopelessness I read so often.

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