Where my sidewalk ends

chairsMoving to a new state, neighborhood/area filled with strangers is daunting. But, I feel like we moved here with a positive, friendly and trusting mindset…maybe a little bit too trusting.

I shared the background of this post on Facebook, so I’ll copy/paste it here, in order to make a long story short:

The other day, a group of about 8-10 teen/pre-teen girls walked by our home, on the sidewalk. I was outside, watering the flowers. “I like those chairs!!!” one of the older girls exclaimed enthusiastically, about our two orange porch chairs. “Well, thank you!” I responded, feeling very happily June Cleaverish with my hose and blooming lilies. Naive, I am…because this morning, guess what was missing from our porch? I hope they’re at least enjoying their NEW home.

What I didn’t share then, was that after finding out we had our chairs stolen, the feeling of our new, nice, suburban area with friendly people in it suddenly felt muddled, unsafe — and I even felt exposed and vulnerable just leaving my doorstep to walk Moxie. I also didn’t share that after the girl yelled to me that she liked our chairs, I did get a twinge of alarm in the back of my mind, like maybe I should be putting the chairs away at night, or something. Finally, I also didn’t share that the group of 8-10 girls ranging from approximately 13 years old to 4 years old, without adult supervision, and who were throwing expletives, including the N-word, around to each other, were black. I didn’t share this, because I didn’t think it was important. Continue reading

Better and worse

good kidSo far, there are things I miss about “back home” — not people, I miss everyone — but, things that give me little pangs of homesickness. But, then I find something that’s “better” than back home and I think, OK. We can do this.

People discipline their kids here. And, the kids listen. For example, at our pool, if a child is screaming too loudly, or splashing — their parents go “ssshh” or “OK, I warned you. Timeout time.” And, the kids actually respect that without question. It’s amazing to actually be able to enjoy the pool without earbuds up all the way. I literally almost fell out of my chair the first time I witnessed it. I leaned over to see what the kid’s reaction was going to be and when there was none — I lost my balance a bit. Back in NY, I’ve had many community pools where this simply did not happen. Kids ruled the pool and all adults there had to deal with their bad behavior. So, better.

A really good news site. I love the Chicago Tribune. It’s kind of like the TU. It has a great layout — it’s easy to navigate and all the info you want to know is right up front. But, I don’t live right in Chicago. So, for the suburbs, I have TribLocal or the Daily Herald. I got so excited when I saw the DH had blogs. Then, I clicked on it and found out they’re all about sports. ALL OF THEM. I even tweeted the DH to ask why they don’t have lifestyle blogs. I got crickets back. So, worse. Continue reading

Why did I grow up?

I went to visit some dear friends of mine last evening. Two of them have the most adorable little boy in the entire world (who, while babysitting, I adorned with a backwards diaper). He is 3 years old. My mom came along, as well — anddirt while we were chatting — about moving, engagement, babies, life — my mom sat on the floor, chatting with him about the baby his mommy is currently carrying.

“So, you’re gonna have a baby soon”, she asked.

“Yeah. Where’s your baby”, he replied.

My mom pointed to me and said, “She’s my baby, did you know that?”

He thought about this.

“Why’d she grow up so big?”

Mind.blown.

It was a simple question on his part. Why did I get to be so big, physically, if I were a baby? But to adult me, it certainly had a more profound meaning. Continue reading