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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Nine Years Ago

Nine years ago, Rob and I chose to move our family from our "McMansion" neighborhood to a more established "older" neighborhood.

I was the impetus for the move.

We had such fun choosing the lot and model of the house we wanted only three years before we left it.
We chose the interior textiles, bought furniture and a big TV for our very first "family room."
We planted a red maple tree and a couple of Leyland cypress trees.
I loved just about everything about the floor plan and we had nice neighbors.

What we didn't have was space, and privacy, and mature trees.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I desperately needed more land and space, even if it meant less house. Not a lot of land, mind you, just enough that I couldn't raise the window of my bedroom and spit onto my neighbor's house.. not that I did!

What was hard, bordering on heartbreaking, was moving the two older kids. Both of them were VERY close friends with our next door neighbors. We moved them to a neighborhood where there were very few kids at all. There was one child Chris's age and three girls Kate's age. However, the girls had been friends for many years and it quickly became clear that for a myriad of reasons Kate was not a good fit for their group.

I felt so guilty. My kids were used to running out and playing with their neighbors every single day and now, there was no one for them to play with.

In retrospect, I can see that the lack of proximity to peers led Trey and Chris to have an extraordinarily close bond. They are still very close although they fight like brothers do. They seek each other out for entertainment and companionship. They share the same interests for the most part. Had we remained in our old neighborhood, Chris and Trey would surely not be as close because Chris would have turned to his friends for that companionship instead.

The last several days, when we arrive home, Trey sets out on his bike to go hang out with kids in the neighborhood. We are going through a new transition now. Chris is in high school and has baseball practice every day until 5:45. He comes home ravenous, has dinner and then has to start his homework.
Trey has adapted to this quite well and I'm happy for that.

I feel a twinge as I realize that change is taking place again. Chris is hoping to land a summer job. He'll be busy over the summer and Trey will have to adapt to his brother moving having his own life with less time to share and play. I know from watching Kate's experience that 10th grade brings a lot of schoolwork and an increase in pressure.

I'm glad that we moved here and the boys had their season of growing such a deep friendship. I hope it carries them through their adolescence and they remember the many good times they shared when they are adults. I hope they foster a relationship like this amongst their sons if they are blessed to have them.

I wish that Kate had had neighbors nearby that she had been able to connect with as well. She did develop close relationships with a few other girls from school and really, especially when it comes to girls, a few close relationships are worth their weight in gold.

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