Yesterday, my old (as in former, not OLD) play group pal Jenny wrote a hilarious post about living in a neighborhood full of attachment parenting (AP) families. It had me cracking up remembering some of the conversations I had with AP moms at some of our play groups. I also remembered how much I don't miss that aspect of our former neighborhood.
Take the time when I took Sydney to a paint your own pottery place one rainy day and was hit in the head with some random object being thrown by an AP kid (in a store full of breakable stuff, mind you). How do I know he was an AP kid? Well, his mom saw him throw said object, saw it hit me in the head and rather than forcing the kid to apologize (like most parents I know would do), she said, "That was not a wise choice, now was it, Ashby?" The kid looked at me, laughed and went on his merry little way. Ugh.
There are a lot of things I do miss about our old neighborhood, though. I miss our friends. I miss walking to various parks, the market, little cafes and Sydney's pre-school. I miss being ten minutes from any kind of restaurant you can imagine. I miss our old church and church family.
But along with the AP parents, I don't miss the crime of our old neighborhood. We used to watch drug deals take place on the street in front of our house. The very busy street in front of our house. We should have realized how busy it was when our neighbor's dog was hit by a car two days after we moved into our house. I petitioned the city several times to put in speed bumps and/or stop signs, but no one seemed to care. We never did feel comfortable playing in our front yard for fear of a flying, out of control car (which happens - we had one land in our ditch at two in the morning one time). And we didn't particularly want our kids to witness a drug deal, either.
And as if drug deals aren't bad enough, our former neighborhood is now plagued with a serial arsonist. Over a dozen fires have been set within a few blocks of our old house in the last couple of months. The closest one was just three blocks away.
And, while out watching for the arsonist and any suspicious activity, a neighbor around the corner from our house noticed a man lurking in another neighbor's yard. When the police arrived, the suspicious man was wearing latex gloves and carrying a butcher knife. He told the police that he'd been watching the house for several days and knew that the husband had gone to work and that the wife was home alone with the baby. This was just around the corner from our house. Five houses away. All I can think is That could have been me.
And, don't get me started on the schools. That is a whole other blog post.
So, as much as I miss our sweet little house and our friends and all, I'm glad we moved. At first, I was so homesick for our old neighborhood that I wasn't sure we'd made the right choice. But I'm happy that the worst crimes I hear about include the spray painting of the park slide or houses getting wrapped in toilet paper. I'm thrilled that our kids can play out in the yard and the driveway without a huge fear of getting hit by a car. And I'm overjoyed that the schools here are great.
Our old neighborhood in The Big City is a wonderful place, but it's just not the place for us anymore. Who knows...once the kids are grown and off to college, we might be ready to move back to the little artsy community we grew to love. But for now, we're home.
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