All Good in the 'Hood

Last weekend the weather was quite nice, and the kids had been pestering to eat outside, so we decided to fire up the grill, eat dinner on the back deck, and conclude with dessert on the front porch.  Because it was nice out, there were a lot of people outside as well.  I got a kick out of Aaron yelling over to three sets of kids playing four houses over, all of whom go to the neighborhood school like our two do.  Aaron hollered at some more kids once we were chilling on the front side of our house.  Everyone was in a sunny mode.

These neighborhood interactions fill me with happiness.  As an introvert, it's not like I need constant interaction; in fact, I'm pretty private, which means I keep to myself and don't get to know everyone else's business like maybe I should.  But it's good to live in a big city, in a functioning neighborhood, where you say hi to others and smile at their kids.  When I first came to Philadelphia as a fresh-faced 18-year-old from suburban San Jose, I'm not sure I could've imagined being 41, married with two kids, and living in an inner city neighborhood on the East Coast.  But here I am. 

Philly still has a ways to go.  Our schools are a mess, our municipal budget is in a precarious position, and there's still way too much violence.  All true.  But, every once in a while, it's good to just sit outside in the sun, wave to neighbors, and be glad your kids can grow up in a socio-economically diverse, multi-racial urban neighborhood.  I'm glad I got a chance to just that this past weekend.
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