Friday, April 16, 2010

The Meeting

I consider myself friendly, neighborly, etc, but still ridiculously shy at meeting new people. I made one welcome basket for the folks who moved in across the street about 7 years ago. I remember bundling up Reese in her snowsuit and walking it over there. I was completely nervous but I got the job done. We have been friendly with them ever since. We have each delivered baby gifts to each other several times now.

But I've always dreamed of being close with my neighbors. Heading over for coffee and a little chit chat. Grilling out in our backyards. Other than wave and offer a friendly, "Hi. Wwow! Little (fill in child's name) is getting so big!" we don't have a lot of contact with any of our neighbors.

We did have some neighbors move in right next door 4 years ago. I was pregnant with Tate. It was right after Christmas. I just never got over there. So in the Springtime when we all emerged from the seclusion of our homes, it was awkward seeing them out and about since I didn't go introduce myself when they first arrived. I have always felt guilty about that. And they just moved away this week. It was a weird feeling for me. We weren't close, but it felt weird to watch them pack up all their stuff and move to Oregon.

Fresh slate. I planned to start off on the right foot with the new neighbors this time. They know nothing about me. They don't know that I was rude and unwelcoming to the prior owners of their home. Thoughts of what I wanted to include in their basket occupied my mind. But I could already feel myself getting nervous. When do I take it over there? They haven't moved in yet. We've just seen a car or two in the driveway occasionally.

One day on the way home from picking up Reese, we saw a car, and an older gentleman sitting out on the front steps. The kids started shrieking halfway down the street, "The new neighbors are here!". Something told me he wasn't the homeowner. Thankfully, he was on his cell phone which was automatically excused us from ambling up the driveway and greet him.

Everyday the kids (and I) have been looking out the window to see if we can see anyone. Their excitement has gotten me excited! But I was hoping the family would wait a few more days to make their appearance since David is out of town and he is the outgoing one. And the one who doesn't sound like a complete idiot when he makes conversation with someone for the first time.

I was in the bathroom this evening when all the kids came running up and said, "The neighbors are outside! They're in their backyard! They like our dogs!".

"WHAT?!" I screeched. "Don't go out there! Wait for me!".

I could just envision them all barreling out the backyard to greet them. I couldn't even tell you if Tate was fully clothed. The first thought our neighbors would have of us is that we let our children run around outdoors half naked with no adult supervision. And I'm sure one of my kids would outright tell them, "My mommy is on the potty.".

We were late for soccer practice so I shooed them all out the front door and we made our escape. It as a teensy bit chilly tonight so I was glad I'd thought to grab my hoodie and one for Drue & Tate.

The younger two got a little restless waiting for practice to be over. Nevermind that there were three playgrounds surrounding us because practice is held in the field by Reese's school. After a few minutes, they got tired of the playground and came back to hang all over me and fight amongst themselves. They must have seen me engaging in adult conversation with one of the fellow moms and felt the need to disrupt that.

To amuse themselves, they decided to turn their hoodies backwards and have me zip them up. And run around with their hoods covering their faces.

Tate has allergies, we've just discovered this week, and has been coughing, sneezing, and rubbing his watery eyes until his meds kick in or when they wear off. The cool night air made his nose all the more runny.

As I headed back home with my sweaty, dirty, runny nosed kids, who should be sweeping out their new garage?!

There was no avoiding them this time. They kind of glanced up at us when we started up our driveway so it would have just been plain rude to keep going. I herded the kids across the yard verbalizing the following warning, "We're very dirty...." but managed to say it with a smile.

The neighbor mom smiled back and assured me, "That's ok". That is when I saw her own herd. Three tiny little girls I was about to find out were ages 4 and under. I exhaled a sigh of relief. Because surely she knew a little something about dirty, sweaty, runny nosed kids.

We made our introductions. Then departed with, "If you need anything, let us know".

And I led my 3 back across our yard by their hoods. We haven't encountered the neighbors again yet. They probably won't recognize us when we're all cleaned up. I am contemplating acting like this is our first meeting and telling them we recently had house sitters...dirty, sweaty, runny nosed house sitters.


david said...

wow you thought a lot about this. I figured I'd just say Hi

Amanda said...

i completely understand your anxiety, Kristen, however, David's comment cracks me up because that is exactly what Jeremy would say to me...Love you both!

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