open your door

35/365 i left my house with no one in the car. learning to separate is only one of the things i (we?) did with more ease the second time around. i had no particular destination in mind but i had an hour and twenty minutes to myself. of course i could have opted for something more traditionally decadent like a bath and/or nap but after a week of canceled school and sick cooped up kids i needed out. so i left. i drove. not wanting to waste any of my precious minutes on the travel (or standing in line at the supermarket) i made it exactly half a mile down the road and found my car turning into the driveway of a friend.

do you have this friend? the one who doesn't mind if you stop over unannounced? who will gladly put a kettle on for you and serve you her leftovers? she's a blessing to be sure. and it's amazing, but she's not the only one i've got. of course it's a small town and you could say i'm lucky but i think it's more than that. proof: yesterday a different neighbor called when she couldn't get home from work at lunch and i walked her dogs. the day before that, yet a different neighbor sent her elfin daughter across the street to my house in an ice storm when she read on facebook that i was stranded at home with (gasp) no coffee.

everywhere i've lived since college it's been like this for me. as a new mother in new york city i made a friend who had a habit of calling me just before dinner and casually letting me know that she had made extra chicken nuggets for her two kids if i wanted to bring my toddler over. i would wheel our high-chair down the hall, into the elevator and down the two flights to her apartment. many days she was the only adult i spoke to all day. thirteen years later, we're still friends. when my second son was born my neighbor had a baby just exactly at the same time - only i hadn't done it in ten years, and she had done it just two years earlier. i was a rookie by any standards, and constantly running out of crucial baby-items. but kristen was just a stones throw. and when she had to go to nursery school parents' night and had never before left her three year old with anyone except her in-laws, she dropped her at my house.

you can call it luck. i prefer to call it karma, but whatever you call it, i think it's just about opening your own door.

if you're reading this and feeling a twinge of envy, unlock your door, welcome in your neighbors and see what happens.