Helping kids on their paper route gives me a little insight to the lives of people living near us.
I had some random thoughts as I was walking around yesterday morning......
**One of the houses I deliver to is an old woman (like ancient old) whose husband has passed away
She recently put out her halloween decor - 6 (also ancient) old-school pictures of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, etc. I seriously remember seeing those at my grandma's house when I was little. I can just imagine her as a young mom getting out the halloween decorations every year, planning the costumes for her little kids, and pulling out the candy. I wonder if she reminisces every time she pulls them out and misses having her little ones at home to take trick-or-treating. I bet she does.
**Another house I deliver to is really interesting - they are in their living room EVERY single morning watching tv.
They have a big window right in the front so I can see in before I get up to their porch.
On their wall they have 2 pictures - a huge one of Michael Jordan (framed) with his arms stretched out wide, and under that is Justin Bieber.
(I will remove my judgmental comment - sorry about that. I sometimes just vomit out every thought that comes into my head!)
I wonder what people see when they look in my window.
In fact, I wonder if our neighbors have ever seen me run into my front room in my underwear.
Ha! Maybe we all should think about that every once in awhile!
**Another house has tons of children's toys out in the front yard, a mini-van in their driveway, and their grass is dead.
It brings back memories of a much younger me - when Dave was in school full time, working full time, and he was in the bishopric of our family ward (a busy busy job in our church).
I had just given birth to our 2nd baby (only 15 months after our 1st baby), and I was tired and emotionally drained.
Working in the yard outside was on the bottom of my priority list at the time (if I'd only realized how healing it is to be out in the sun pulling weeds), and our yard looked less than picturesque. It didn't help that Dave was busy and didn't mow the lawn enough, and we didn't have any sprinkler system set up so our grass was often rather brown.
I had to teach a lesson to the women at church about being a good neighbor.
As we were discussing things, my neighbor (a 40-ish single sister with no children) raised her hand and said in a snotty way something like "I just don't like having neighbors that don't take care of their yard".
It was an obvious jab at us, and I didn't even know how to respond.
I just kind of moved on with the lesson hastily, but I was humiliated.
Through the years I've thought about that - about how judgmental she was, and about how judgmental I have been to others, not knowing the situation they are in.
Instead of being mean she could have taken the time to see that I was beyond stretched and experiencing severe postpartum depression. Maybe she could have offered to help me or show me how to take care of some things. She could have tried to understand how hard it is to have 2 babies and feel like a single mom because my husband was NEVER home. She could have tried to understand that I was young and felt very lonely.
I actually know the family with the dried up grass and toys outside.
The mom works a difficult schedule and tries to take care of 4 kids while her husband is working hard too.
I bet she's tired, and emotionally drained.
Or maybe she just doesn't like yard work!
Before we moved from that house we had really fixed up the yard and the house, and it was really cute!
Our neighbor even tried to steal a potted plant that was on our porch because she thought we were gone. I took it back and kind of wished I could say something mean and snotty like "I just don't like having a snotty neighbor who tries to take things that aren't hers". Instead I tried to see things from her eyes -- it must be frustrating to have a husband who cheated on you and to never have the opportunity to have children. And I'm sure it was difficult to deal with neighbors who didn't keep their yard up to her standards and have to look at it every day.
**Many houses that I walk by have a certain scent: coffee, flowers, animals, laundry softener, etc. I wonder what my house smells like to others coming to my door. I have always worried that it would smell like stinky diapers. We change a lot of diapers around these parts.
I should probably be pondering the mysteries of the universe on my daily newspaper walk, but most days I'm so tired this is as deep as it gets!!
successful potty training
closing the door on a messy room & dealing with it later