And that was how we grew into young adults. We had friends in other neighborhoods but ours. We silently showed off our achievements. We didn’t ask dad to stop the car to pick up Tom who was walking in the heat of the day. “let his father buy their own car“.
We saw our childhood friends in the University and it was awkward. Eventually we could only talk about our childhood. Although we saw each other every other day in the last ten years.
We couldn’t picture building our own house without having it fenced round. We couldn’t picture our future neighbours for they were never going to be in the picture.
Fast forward to now. Many have their own families. Some residing in beautiful estates having rows of bungalows with low walls and flowers and yet we are considering raising the walls. We don’t want to see our neighbours, we don’t want them to see us. We don’t want to see their house, they don’t have to see ours. They don’t have to know what improvements we’ve made on our house. Their roof is fine, we can see their roof, they can see our roof too, no problem with that. So let’s raise the fence to roof level.
We all want a car. Even when we can’t afford it. We never gave it a thought to share our neighbour’s car with them. Even when said neighbours wouldn’t mind. But we carry the ‘what would they be saying about me?‘ around with us, so we can’t. So we save, we strain, we suffer.
Our kids somehow happen to find themselves playing with the neighbour’s kids and we stand by the window, watching, fuming, till we can’t take the love anymore. We step out the house and call out to our kids. “Junior, come inside“. To make it look like we mean no harm, we add “come and eat” or “they’re showing cartoon“. Sometimes we then have to drag the reluctant child inside with a fake smile on our face.