Earlier this week Evan took Mattie, our very exuberant Labrador Retriever, out for a walk. He set off before school, filled with responsibility and pride, with the leash and a bag for waste. As he walked down our road, he saw another man walking his dog. Mattie must have become very excited. She pulled and ran, thinking she had found a new friend. Evan held tight to the leash as they approached our neighbor and his dog, probably with a big smile on his face. With just a few words, that smile was wiped clear away. Our neighbor looked at my 10 year old son and said, "Keep your filthy dog away from me." Evan came home with his head hung low. He no longer had a spring in his step. How dare this man talk that way to my boy? I can't understand why people treat their neighbors this way.
When we were planning on buying a house, I couldn't wait to become a part of a neighborhood. I had candy coated dreams of sipping lemonade on the front lawn with my neighbors as we watched our children play from dawn to dusk. We would drop cookies and casseroles off at each others doorsteps to celebrate babies and to bring comfort during hard times. There would always be someone to help out a few steps away. There would be block parties and community Easter egg hunts. We would never be alone because we were surrounded by friends.
I guess I didn't do enough research, because that does not exist, at least not in my neighborhood. Where are Lorelai and Rory Gilmore? I want to live in Stars Hollow. Everyone is in each others business, sometimes a little too much, but always in a good way.
I have birthed babies, buried babies, gone through good times and bad without much acknowledgement from my neighbors. Every time someone new moves in, I try my hardest. I bring over cookies and try to strike up conversation. I have made a few friends, but there doesn't seem to be a sense of neighborhood. Maybe I live on the wrong side of our horseshoe shaped lane. There are more families with small children around the horseshoe. I guess the grass always looks greener on the other side.
Don't get me wrong, there are some great families in my neighborhood. There are the neighbors from up the block who brought over a huge tray of Penne ala Vodka when Linus was in the NICU and the neighbors further up who are very generous with their hand-me-downs. There is the boy up the block who is one of Katie's best friends and a bunch of little girls on the other side of the horseshoe who are playmates of Alice and Lucie.
I am still looking for Stars Hollow. If you find it, let me know.