New Neighbours

Today is one of those crisp autumn days that makes me wish for perpetual fall. The tree outside this window has turned golden, and still holds a few mottled green leaves. Its branches are more visible this week, in a couple of weeks all the leaves will be gone, and the view will change from water/tree/water to water/big grey highrises/water.

The building next door is being demolished. It is beyond noisy. Work recently moved into this new building. Last year at this time, I was sitting next door watching this building as it finally came together. The year before, I watched and listened as the building that was on this site was demolished. So many changes. There are a lot of things about being in a new building that I relate to moving to Little House. Air quality, noise, view, craftsmanship, finishing…and neighbours.

I wonder how Little House’s neighbours feel about his changes, and the changes to the surrounding buildings? Can they see the potential that I see? Or are they worried about this unsightly shack of a building ruining the neighbourhood. Probably not – the neighbourhood isn’t exactly filled with mansions. It mostly has modest, bungalows, 1980s boxes, and a few turn-of-the century gems. Right next door there is a big Old House. In this house a woman and a dog live. She is one particular neighbour that we already know if going to be the Snoop. We see her peering out from behind her bushes when we visit Little House. She has a perpetual frown, and hasn’t ever said ‘Hello’. We’ve seen her a dozen times, and we’re likely to see her plenty more. We haven’t met any of the other folks next door. Wonder if they’ll like our music? Will we be those neighbours?

We’ve never lived in our own house before. We’ve lived in apartments, a duplex, and a shared house. Little S and O are used to being quiet and conscious of the neighbours below and above us. That doesn’t mean that they are actually quiet, but they try. The move to Little House is going to free things up for these children. I wonder how it will change them? The freedom to be loud. To have stairs to go up and down, to have their own little yard, a house that is only shared with their immediate family, somewhere slightly more permanent.

I think it will be most beneficial to Little S. She’s six now. She’s endured a solid year of house-hunting, and to a lesser degree the year prior too. I can’t imagine how odd it must be for a child to go into all these homes, and imagine them as your home, where your bedroom will be and how your life will unfold in this place or that, but the move, the buying it never happened. She’s an amazingly flexible child. She’s taken it all in stride. She got persnickety only once or twice during the whole exercise. She talks about her new room, her new school, about playing in the yard with her brother, and having friends over to this new place. She’s very excited about finally settling into her new house – her Little House.

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