Today we are off to a birthday party. It is our next door neighbours son’s 1st birthday and we are going to a BBQ at their house.
Nothing odd about that you might think, but for me it is a first!
Our old neighbours were nice people, but mostly kept themselves to themselves. In fact I think I only went into their house twice in the 7 years that we lived next door to each other, we never had BBQs together or anything like that, despite our children being in the same school (2 of them in the same class even), we never really chatted or got to know each other. Most of the other people in the street were nice too, they’d occasionally call for a favour or to borrow something and I didn’t mind that, but I wouldn’t have said we were ‘friends’.
That was partly down to me, I wouldn’t call myself shy but I am quite private. I didn’t really want other people knowing my business and frankly I didn’t really care to know other people’s business either, I didn’t want to be sitting around drinking cups of coffee with people when I should have been working or ending up with the whole street’s kids coming into my house and trashing it, so I kept myself to myself. They probably thought I was a right unsociable cow!
My new neighbours haven’t given me the chance to be unsociable! Within days of moving in they were knocking on the door to say hello and introduce themselves. They have a daughter the same age as ours and every day since then the two of them have played together flitting backwards and forwards between the houses. My daughter makes buns with them (I don’t bake!) and the other day I made a handprint cast with their daughter for her to take home as a keepsake.
I have to be honest, I first I thought ‘oh dear, these people are really going to get on my nerves’. But actually although I do still sometimes find it a bit overwhelming actually I am starting to like having neighbours that I chat to and not having that ‘I really should make more effort’ feeling.
We’ve only been here 2 months and already we’ve met and made friends with quite a few people on the street. Although it feels a bit strange, it’s a new start for me. Time to say bye bye to that miserable woman who didn’t want to be bothered with anyone, and embrace the community spirit that I should have welcomed in ages ago!
So where once upon a time I would have been dreading the BBQ, today I am actually quite looking forward to it. Lets just hope it doesn’t rain!