Thankful today...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One warm afternoon last week, Liam woke up from his nap, heard our neighbors' kids' happy cries outside, and rushed over to the door, begging to join them. It happens most afternoons, but this time, Shawn was home to join us and I savored it from behind my camera lens.
Our neighborhood has caught us by complete surprise. Moving to a new city and becoming first-time home buyers at once, I'd say we rushed the process. We knew the general area where we wanted to land, understood our basic price range, and were otherwise pretty desperate to feel more settled than the basement apartment where we were staying. After walking through a handful of houses, we landed on one we loved, drew up an offer, accepted the counter, and waited rather impatiently to close. We loved the size and character of our little yellow house, but the charm of a dead-end street whose neighborhood kids basically live outside? We had no idea. Living just minutes from the Greenway and downtown Raleigh where we take family bike trips every weekend? No clue about that either.

As I watched Liam play, I took a grateful inventory:
... For kind neighbors with little kids who are close enough that we can yell from our front porch, "Do you have any extra infant Tylenol?" They do, we meet at the curb to get it, and our teething babe (and his parents) sleep so much better because of it. Heroes.
... For new neighbors who closed on their house on the day of this photograph, and invited about 10 of us inside to take a tour. "Welcome to the street! We're very neighborly," we attested, as if they couldn't tell while our six kids made themselves at home.
... For diversity. Our neighborhood is both economically and racially diverse (something we really desired), and Liam is often the only child of his color on the playground. I'm thankful to see him interacting with so many different kinds of people from the start. Healthy and wonderful.
... To live in a warm enough climate that our garden is exploding and our boy spends his days outdoors for months on end.
... To live 6 minutes from Trader Joe's (it must be mentioned).

We truly feel like the Lord has handed us gift after gift to slowly unwrap as we discover this beautiful neighborhood surrounding our little yellow house.

4 comments:

  1. I really love this. I comment on most of your posts about Raleigh, but this really hits the nail on the head. It's such a wonderful place, and I am so jealous that you live right in the heart of it all!

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  2. You are blessed - those are memories that he will never forget; playing with all the kids in the neighbourhood. My husband and I rent a lake lot every summer about 40 minutes from our home. In our little lane of the resort are five other families with kids about the same age - we all share food, medicines, coffee - whatever. We campfire every night we are there, and the kids run from morning to night - a little pack of fun...the bigger kids looking out for the smaller kids - having adventures and enjoying the outdoors. On the beach, we rotate our "shifts" at the water's edge - the best sense of community ever. And that is what our kids talk about all winter. Canadian winters are long and tough - that lake community gets us through that weather! Best thing ever. Now, I must go Google Trader Joe's (things we don't have in Canada!) Blessings to you, Whitney - thank you for posting things that make me consider all I am grateful for, too.

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  3. Never underestimate the privilege of having great neighbors. I truly believe they make or break a home, and its not something you can find out ahead of time! My heart soars when I watch my own kids run around the yard and street with their pack of neighborhood friends. The Lord has blessed us with both saved and unsaved neighbors, and what an opportunity! I have so many happy memories playing with friends after school every day of the week, but that was before video games ipads.

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