Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Neighbours, Great Friends

I'm not sure what was happening with the water in our condo complex in the summer and fall of 2008, but a whole lotta babies were conceived, and now there are at least half a dozen children around the age of two milling about in our courtyard at any given time of day.  They have begun to travel in a pack, and it won't be long before their plans for world domination are complete.  In the meantime, we simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the chaos. I'm not sure Lilah realizes how lucky she is to have so many wonderful, adorable playmates in such close proximity. 

I, on the other hand, being the wise and sage adult that I am, realize how special this is.  To be able to step outside our back door into a huge backyard that comes complete with same-aged playmates is such an incredible bonus, and it has kept us in our tiny ground floor aparment far longer than we intended to stay (well... that and Vancouver's insane housing market).

Before Lilah came along, we mainly stayed within the confines of our patio, not realizing what an incredible resource we had just beyond the gate.  These days, that gate is like a magic portal for Lilah, opening up to a world of adventure, play, and friendship.  But it isn't just the children who have formed strong bonds (and when I say strong, I mean, in some cases, almost sibling-like, as evidenced by the sibling rivalry these kids sometimes display). The parents have also become close, and the Hubs and I now count some of these amazing people among our inner circle.

As we often have to reassure inquisitive strangers:
"Nope, not twins.  Not even related, though they sometimes fight like siblings."
This is the type of friendship that is effortless.  All we have to do is run across the courtyard and knock on the door - or in Lilah's case, stand at the threshold to their patio, rattling the gate and screaming their child's name.  Yes, these friendships were borne of convenience, but they are solidified by the discovery of similar values, common beliefs, and shared experiences.  Every time we run across the courtyard to borrow a cup of sugar (and yes, that actually does happen), or offer last-minute babysitting services,or decide that we are too lazy to cook and we should all just order sushi together, we are raising our village.  The very same village that turns back around and helps us raise our children.

These are the kind of friends who don't judge your parenting when your kid is having a rough day and lashes out at theirs; the kind you feel comfortable leaving your child with at any given moment; the kind who could and would, if necessary, seamlessly and gently discipline your child  in your absence.  (Also the kind who would drop everything to courier you the charger for the special lithium battery for your beloved D-SLR camera while you are vacationing across the country.  Yes, this actually happened too.  Forgetting it at home was not my proudest moment.)

This isn't the first time I have written of the sense of community we have found where we are living, and it won't be the last.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have stumbled upon such good neighbours, such great friends, and such a supportive parenting community, all in one fell swoop.

Let's BEE Friends


  1. It sounds like an amazing circle of friends for both kids and adult. You can't beat a support system like that.

  2. That sounds amazing!! I'm so jealous. Great pictures :)

  3. @Lisa You really can't. But sadly, we are quickly outgrowing our 862 sq. ft. (Don't want to start any rumours, though. I am NOT pregnant!)

  4. I would love to live in a community like yours. I grew up in a not-so-great neighborhood, but we knew all of the families on our block and the kids all hung out with each other. We could see each others' yards from our own backyards and all it took was a "holler" to get us home for dinner. I would have trouble giving up our yard, but I could definitely downsize my house in a trade for neighborhood friends.

  5. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to read about that! I hope someday I'll know it firsthand. :)

  6. That is really cool that you have so many friends for yourself and Lilah living but a moment away. I'm rather envious. Very cool indeed.

  7. You are so lucky to live in a place that has so many little buds for your Lilah and good friends for you too!

  8. I wish there were more littles in our area for Ms Ava - your pictures are amazing!

  9. That little courtyard and community is so awesome. You are super lucky. I feel fortunate to have the three kids downstairs who have basically become surrogate siblings for Theo.


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