Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Since November is a Thanksgiving month, I decided to focus this month on things I am grateful for. With Halloween just behind us, my first thankful thought is about our neighborhood.
We are pretty lucky to be living where we do even though the real estate market was crazy when we bought our house and only got crazier since then. Our neighborhood is a typical upper middle class neighborhood of Silicon Valley - it's ethnically diverse, quiet, well maintained, and, most importantly, safe. Yes, there is a turnover and some "flipping houses" going on, but most of our neighbors have been living here for years and we all keep an eye on each other's children. The kids go out to play basketball, and there is an active group of older teens getting together to play street hockey every weekend. A nice park with a free tennis court is just 5 minutes away. A new playground has just been built there, and there is a basketball court, a baseball practice area, and a place to walk dogs/play soccer.
Our neighborhood is famous for its Halloween hospitality. One of our street neighbors builds an elaborate haunted house around his garage, and kids flock in from far and wide for "good candy". Yesterday we gave out 3 Costco bags of chocolate candy - 450 total, and we had to limit Halloween visitors to take just one, so we could last through 3 hours of non-stop foot traffic.
It was the first year when Smarty went out trick-or-treating without us. Originally, she set out with a sizable group of kids from our street, but eventually she and one of her boy friends split off. She came home glowing with excitement and satisfaction, because she had so much control on where they went and how long they were going for.
I am thankful that we live in the neighborhood when I felt safe to let my 11 year old go out on her own in the dark. I admit that I was worried when the streets emptied out by 9 pm, and she still was not home (we agreed on 9:30 pm as the latest return time). It turns out that she went to her friend's house, so they could sort their candy and trade it. Smarty said that it was "the best Halloween ever", and I am grateful for good friends, good community, and my own ability to let her become more independent despite some fears of "what if".

Your Turn

How was your Halloween?

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Ticia said...

Your neighborhood sounds amazing. The lacks of kids playing together outside has been one of the biggest disappointments of our neighborhood. When the kids were very little there was a lot of that, but after one of the other families moved that had lots of boys and were outside all the time, the mood of our part changed, and we never really see anyone.