Dear Free-Range Kids: A few weeks ago you posted something that another reader did to create a sense of community. I’ve been meaning to follow up, but things in Wisconsin have been, umm, kind of crazy lately, as you may have read.
Anyway, I live in the sort of neighborhood where there a lot of
renters, and not very many kids. My husband and I have been bemoaning
this for years. There’s a younger child next door to us, and a family
w/ 3 kids about a block up, and that’s it within our 2 blocks.
Well, the mom of the 3 kids decided recently that she wants her kids
to know everyone w/in a 2 block radius. And so to facilitate that,
she decided to have a block party. In February. In Wisconsin. She
arranged for a landscaping company to push some of the snow into big
hills, got the street blocked off, told people what she was doing, and
it worked out really nicely. We had about 3 versions of chili there
(in crockpots, plugged into a surge protector on a heavy-duty
extension cord), cocoa in big thermoses, kids making snow forts, etc.
We weren’t able to stay for the whole thing, but there were people
coming & going for at least 4 hours. For a while I went back to my
house to work on our potluck contribution, and left my daughter out
there to play. After about 1/2 hour I heard a bang on the porch–she
had run home to get her sled–and she took great delight in running
So don’t let the weather stop you from getting to know your neighbors!
People might think you’re nuts, but they’ll usually show up to a