Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Posted on April 27, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I love kids – mine especially. But in the last year, I’ve had a growing problem with the kids next door. Not that there’s anything wrong with the kids themselves – I guess my problem is with the lack of supervision the kids are given.

Ranging in age from first grade down to two, the family has three children. Their backyard is fenced in. Yet, the kids aren’t.

A few weeks ago, sitting in my office in the lower level of a tri-level house, I heard something outside the window, which sits about two feet directly behind my head. I turned around to find a face staring at me at eye level, nose pressed against the pane. Before it registered who this was, or that it was even a child, I gasped from the startle. Before I could react at all, the little boy slammed his hand against the window. POW!

Now, you have to realize how quickly all of this happened. My immediate reaction to the POW and the fact that someone was on the opposite side of the window was to duck. Yep, my instincts screamed for me to take cover – the first thing that came to mind was that I was being shot at (by a two year old – I know, dumb). But it was startling.

Once I realized who it was, I came out from under my cover and told the child to go home.

In telling my husband about it, he recanted his experience the day before. While driving home, he turned the corner on the street in the subdivision where we live. A truck was ahead of him, which slowed to a crawl. Before he knew it, they were at a dead stop. In the street in front of the truck was the two year old, this time on a little trike. Smack in the middle of the street and not moving. After a few minutes, the oldest child ran out to the street and pulled him back into their driveway. No where was a parent to be found.

Last weekend, I went outside to light the grill and one of their five miniature dobermans was standing in our backyard. He started barking at me and charged toward me. That didn’t surprise me because the dogs have roamed the neighborhood and the streets for a year. I’m surprised one of them hasn’t been hit by a car yet.

Last night, I went out to light the grill and saw a pair of boxing gloves in our yard, each sitting six or eight feet  away from each other – one by the tree, one by the pool. The neighbor’s shed was wide open and toys galore were spilled out of its door. Obviously, they decided to take their fun into my yard, as well.

The boxing gloves are now mine. They will be missed, because they’re nice gloves – adult gloves – and probably belong to their father.

Good fences make good neighbors. They have a fence. It’s not working. I shouldn’t have to worry about children peering in the window at me. We shouldn’t have to stop in the street because a child isn’t being watched. I shouldn’t be barked at and threatened by another family’s pet when I’m in my own yard. And there’s no reason at all for me to be picking up other people’s belongings in my backyard.

So it now looks like we have to get a fence. Not to keep our children and dog where they belong, but to keep our neighbor’s kids out of where they don’t belong.  Good fences might indeed make good neighbors, but only if it’s a good fence and parents make sure it’s working.

I didn’t want to be this kind of neighbor. I didn’t want them to be, either.

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3 Responses to “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”

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I had a similar experience when it was 8am and I looked out my back window to see a little girl playing in our sandbox. But the difference was that her mom was with her. What? I knew they lived in the neighborhood but I was not close with them. I guess they did this all over the neighborhood. At one point I thought about having a “stay our of our yards” fundraiser for them. I doubt we could have raised the money needed to fence the whole neighborhood except their house.

Wow, that’s worse than my situation! You have leeches!

Oh my these kids are driving me crazy!


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