We live on a dead-end street. There are 10 houses, including ours. Two are empty right now. So the kids and I are embarking on a neighborhood project. It began this week with Valentines. They made enough Valentines to leave one at every house. "from Caleb, Anna, and Sofia at 5 Oak Knoll". I figure I can come up with something at least once a month that we can do to bless and reach out to our neighbors.
One of our neighbors today came out to say thanks. He said, "What a touch of humanity. Most of us live like the person next door isn't even there." And that is what my army of little people and I are going to change.
What is amazing to me, is that for whatever reason, this 'distance' that is 'natural' between people, strangers, Caleb does not at all understand. It is certainly nothing that he has gotten from his shy and introverted mother!
As I'm sitting here wondering about this, it strikes me that as we've come to terms with our issues (I'm the oldest, I'm the middle, I'm an extrovert, I'm an introvert, my mothers brothers dog had puppies in front of me when I was six) that we've overused the usefulness of self-awareness and built walls of excuses around ourselves. (I haven't showered, my house is a mess, I'm too busy anyway.)
So when do the healthy boundaries, and healthy self-awareness begin to pen us in one from another? How is it possible that I have lived on a dead end street with only ten houses, (two of which are empty most of the year), for over a year, and still had to look up (or have Marc loko up) the names of the recipients of our Valentines on the computer?
Stay tuned as we continue our Operation Neighborhood in the upcoming months.