Bad Neighbour


I have a confession… I am a very bad neighbour. Last fall, shortly after Poppy was born, the doorbell rang. I tried to grab the dogs and the baby and glance around to see how messy the entrance way was, and then answer the door looking somewhat put together. At the door was a nice looking woman holding a small gift bag and a cake. She explained that she was my neighbour, and wanted to drop off a little something for the new baby. Firstly, I felt very badly that I did not know this neighbour… as she obviously knew me well enough to drop off a gift. She told me she had a two-year old son and they often watched out the window, as toddlers like to do, and therefore had seen me go from massively pregnant to babe-in-arms.

I thanked her profusely for the cake, and chatted for a couple minutes before she said good-bye. After she left we opened the present and found a sweet little book for Soren, as well as some soft play toys for the baby. I kept saying how nice she was to do this… to bring over a cake and gifts for both our children, when we didn't even know they existed. I know people love to talk about how unfriendly people are these days, and this clearly seemed to be an example of the opposite. In my head I envisioned us having future playdates, or maybe having these new neighbours over for dinner.

So the worst part. It's now May and I have yet to speak to these neighbours again. I had every intention of bringing over a thank-you note, or inviting them over, or baking them christmas cookies. Yet I have done nothing. For a while I was unsure of what house they lived in, although clearly this is a terrible excuse as I could have easily knocked on a couple doors until I found them. I think about them often, and how they must think I am the worst neighbour ever. It's to the point now that I'm not even sure where to begin… Probably saying hi would be a good start. Bad neighbour. I'm a very bad neighbour.

1 comment:

Emma said...

Ooh, that's a tough one! But don't feel bad. You've been in baby land, that counts for a lot.

We didn't really meet most of our neighbours until we had our first baby - I think it's a natural reason for finally meeting people! I was shocked and incredibly touched when neighbours we had barely exchanged any words with dropped off gifts when our first child was born - but everyone loves to celebrate a baby, even one they don't know.

I remember last summer standing on the front porch with my new babe and a woman I didn't know was jogging by. She glanced over and saw me, came up my path and said "You had her!" Same thing as happened to you - she'd seen me with my big belly and had been wondering when I would have the baby. We had a nice chat about midwifery and realized our husbands had met while playing outside with the kids earlier that summer. I haven't seen her again since then, but she certainly brightened my day. Funny what others are noticing when we don't realise it. I actually think it's a sign of a good neighbourhood!

If you know now where your thoughtful neighbour lives, I say drop off a belated thank-you note with your phone number or email with an open invite for her and her little guy to come over for coffee. Trust me, she will be happy to get a note from you even though it's a few months later - no one expects a thank-you note right away from a family with a new baby! And if she's at home with her little one, I'm sure she would welcome the social contact. A good neighbour you know and trust is worth a lot, one that you can be friendly with is worth even more.

It's not too late! You can blame everything on baby brain... the time lapse, if you don't recall their names, etc... because it's the truth!

Don't beat yourself up. As they say, better late than never :)