We buy a house because we love the kitchen or the yard but we stay because we love our community. Many of us dream of living in a neighborhood where our kids have friends on the block and people welcome new neighbors with banana bread and bring chicken soup when someone is sick. As much as this idyllic neighborhood sounds appealing, I had never lived in this kind of place, until through carpool we created it.
When we decided to choice into a new Denver charter school I was a little concerned because it was a couple of miles from our home and would require some creative transportation solutions. Through the school I found three families living close to us and shot off an email, hoping not to sound too desperate to find someone who could pick my daughter up from school. And so carpool was born.
As the school year progressed so did our friendships: we started having carpool parties and over apple juice for the kids and beer for the parents we began to form lasting friendships. At first we would chat about PTO meetings and bake sales, we discussed the merits of “village parenting” where we could rely on each other if someone had a late meeting, or if our kids needed some coaching about how to deal with the play ground bully. As we got to know each other better we broached more serious topics like parenting our children when it comes identity or the death of a grandparent.
Now if we have an emergency babysitting need, or my kids test me with a new behavior and I need some parenting advice or I just want a friend to go on a walk with, I call the families in my community.
What have you and your neighbors done to create a close community?