When we were a DINKy couple, we barely knew our neighbours. I remember feeling rather embarrassed about having to introduce myself after staying over two years as neighbours, just for my passport verification!
Lil D changed everything. For one thing, she’s a very sociable person even with passing acquaintances. The other thing is that it’s just natural to bond with other parents when we go out to play. So it’s come to pass that I have also now managed to build up my own circle of friends. Which, if you know me, is a miracle!
I think apartment complexes are wonderful places, especially for children. Lil D has a gang of friends that she hangs out with. It’s fun for her, and less worrisome for me because she’s in a safe place. We parents look out for each other’s kids, we baby-sit at times of emergencies, and in general, are there for each other whenever the need arises.
When I think of all this, I always appreciate how blessed both Lil D and we are that we live in such a lovely, caring community.
This was underlined today by a simple gesture. One of the maids, who works at Lil D’s friend’s house, came over to pick up the keys to her employer’s place. As she was leaving, she handed me a small, flat stone. This is for Lil D, she told me. For playing hopscotch. Just a couple of days ago, Lil D and her friend had been playing hopscotch (well, it’s their very own version!) with an unwieldy stone. The maid had noticed and had gone out of her way to pick up a suitable stone for her!
I was so touched by the gesture. It somehow made me feel overwhelmed and grateful that we are still surrounded by people who care. The world is not such a bad place after all, to bring children into!