By: Amy Wise
“Love month” at The Next Family continues. This time I’m going to talk about a different kind of love…the love I have for my neighbors. When you are in a mixed race marriage and family you have to think about things like the diversity of the neighborhood and schools where you live. I wouldn’t want to raise my daughter in “white bread USA” any more than I would want to raise her in “all black USA.” She is a mix, the world is a mix, and I want her to grow up in a mix.
When we moved to the neighborhood we have now lived in for thirteen years, we had a list of things we wanted in a neighborhood and house. The list went a little like this: excellent schools, nice area, diverse population, three bedrooms minimum, two baths minimum, a dishwasher for God’s sake (our old house built in the 20’s didn’t have one), and “hopefully” some nice neighbors. Well, our wishes came true and then some! The schools have been fabulous, the area is just beautiful, our neighbors are White, Black, Asian, Latino, and pretty much every other mix you can think of, the house is the perfect size for the three of us, and yes, there is a dishwasher (we are actually on dishwasher number two), and the neighbors aren’t just nice, they are like family!
Who knew thirteen years ago when we were looking to buy our house, and our soon-to-be-neighbor popped his head over the fence (like “Mr. Wilson” from Home Improvement) and said, “Are you buying this house?” that we were buying into a built in family? Some have come and gone, and some have even passed on, but most of them still remain. We watch out for each other and we would do anything for each other. I’m not talking about can-I-borrow-a-cup-of-sugar? kind of neighbors, I’m talking about ’til-death-do-us-part-what-do-you-need-what-can-I-do kind of neighbors! It’s rare to find this kind of “love” in our fast-paced, too busy, too worried about me society. Not only am I thankful for where we live, I am truly lucky, because even though it might be a different kind of love, I’ll take it, because I just love my neighbors!
Amy Wise is a Freelance writer in San Diego. You can read more on www.themanyshadesoflove.blogspot.com