Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Neighbors…Welcome to the House Next Door!

Dear Neighbors,

Welcome to the house next door. We are glad to have you in the neighborhood. I am what in days gone by would have been called "the lady of the house," in today's language I am frequently referred to as "the mother of all those kids." I do my best to keep the chaos to a low roar around here but, fair warning, your idea of an acceptable level of chaos may be much different than mine. With that in mind I thought it fair to give you a heads up about the going's on here at the Wright Place…

  • Four kids live here but you will rarely see all four at the same time. When you keep seeing different kids hanging around the place just assume they belong here. Most often they are Wrights.
  • You will often see young girls pushing a stroller up and down the street. The logical assumption is that we have added a baby to our family. This is not the case. Fear not, the baby in the stroller, though real in appearance is a doll. In addition to the four kids who live here, we are also home to 4 or 5 hundred well-loved baby dolls. These dolls get better care than most infants and enjoy frequent stroller rides around the neighborhood. 
  • Often, if not daily, you will hear the bouncing of a ball either inside the house or outside. One of the kids here is a teenaged boy and it seems that bouncing things is more important to his survival than breathing is. 
  • There will be, on occasion, and more frequently as summer is beginning, the sound of a ukulele being played. We are not having a luau. Our teenaged daughter loves making music and we are thrilled that the ukulele and the piano are her instruments of choice. Just consider some of the alternatives!
  • Be particularly cautious when venturing into your backyard. Without warning any number of flying objects could drop into your vicinity. Softballs, tennis balls, baseballs, frisbees, and baby dolls (the ones receiving substandard care obviously) are regular intruders in your yard followed by which ever child has drawn the short straw and has been sent to retrieve the flying object. The rule is to knock on your front door and ask for permission to enter your yard. You might just want to offer blanket permission and save yourself some door answering. Every now and then I'll bake you some cookies or muffins to help make up for the hassle of living beside of us. This issue is usually not as much of a problem in the winter. 
  • Please do not be unnerved when you see a beautiful pair of blue eyes staring at you from out of the windows of our home. We have a child who feels called to the neighborhood watch. No, there is not an organization to join on our street.. Our girl is a team of one with the occasional help of one of the little girls who lives on the other side of you. It might be better said that she feels called to watch the neighborhood. We are trying to break her of this calling but honestly? Her information is quite useful to us and so, we are not trying very hard. Shortly she will know what time of day you go to work, what sort of clothes you wear to work, what time you come home from work, what your favorite way to wear your hair is, and who your friends and family are. I'm very sorry for this invasion of your privacy but take comfort in this, you are not alone. She has a scary knowledge of everyone who lives within a four block radius.
  • I should also just apologize ahead of time for what you are likely to see on our porch. We love our porch and treat it very much as another room in our home. Early in the mornings, probably as you are leaving your home for work (we won't know this until our daughter has a few days to collect the information though) it it very possible that you will see people in pajamas. They will be eating breakfast, reading books, watering flowers, or having class (more about this in a minute). We do our best to remember that we are outside and that we have neighbors but golly we like to start the day slowly out there dressed as if we were still inside. The Man of the House is always very presentable while on the porch but the rest of us…. I'm sorry if we leave a bad impression or especially a lasting one! This is only a problem when the weather is warm or almost warm. If the weather is cool, we are usually well covered with blankets.
  • OK, you might want to sit down. The reason we have class on our porch is because we are homeschoolers. We hope that eventually you will say to us like some people have, "but you seem so…normal." We realize, however, that you may never find us normal and that there could be many additional reasons for that other than our homeschooling! Because you find yourself living beside a bunch of homeschoolers, you will see our kids here all of the time. Constantly! Every. Single. Day. 
  • Because of that Every. Single. Day. reality, I often send the little girls outside to burn off some energy. One of their favorite outside activities is singing songs from movies especially musicals of the Disney variety though lately they are really into Annie. Therefore, when you hear the girls singing "It's a Hard Knock Life for Us," you can assume that it is just an Annie phase and not a commentary on the state of their existence in our home…I think. 
  • Finally, you find yourself moving in to your home during a season in our home where we have not one, but two teenagers who are learning how to drive. Beware as you drive by.
Well, I think that covers nearly everything. We remain thrilled that you are living next door and now that you are armed with the above information we hope that you will be thrilled to live next door as well. It may be a good idea for you to check with some of the other neighbors who will probably be happy to share some of their "coping with the Wrights" skills with you. There may even be a support group that meets regularly.

Welcome to the neighborhood! 

We make our friends; we make our enemies; 
but God makes our next door neighbor.
G. K. Chesterton

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