When Matt and I were ready to buy a home here in Chicago about a year and a half ago, we had a couple of options. One was to buy a small single family house on the far northwest side of the city that might be small but would have a yard of our own. We opted for the other, which was a condo on the far north side of the city with not much of a yard but a gorgeous beach and large park close by.
What I didn’t realize, even after being apartment-dwellers for so many years, was how important one’s neighbors are in a condo building. We have only 7 units total, but with all of our neighbors also being owners, people have a vested interest in the decisions made and how we will co-exist in this single beautiful building.
Well, as you probably know from other posts, we really lucked out in that department and this weekend has been a reminder of that. Last night, we did one of our babysitting swaps with our neighbors across the hall; our neighbor, whose husband is out of town, put her 2-year old to bed, dropped the baby monitor off at our house, and went out with friends. Should her daughter wake, we’d hear her immediately and be able to get her settled down as quickly as if we were in their own home. In a couple weeks, Matt and I will go out and do the same. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why this is truly amazing.
This morning, the same neighbors knocked on our door, and the 2-year old asked, “Does anybody want pancakes?” (Yes, this is the same neighbor who saved my a** last winter with a simple late afternoon bowl of popcorn.) And so the boys went over in their jammies and enjoyed some blueberry pancakes with their friend.
They’re still there, playing happily now, and I can hear how much fun they’re having because the doors of both of our homes are wide open, just as they should be between neighbors.