One thing that we have loved about living in Syracuse is the friendliness of our neighbors. We have lived 3 different places in the Westcott neighborhood and it has been so much fun to have kids around for our kids to play with.
At our former apartment there were several kids on our street and our house became a bit of a hangout for the little girls on the street. This summer, while we have been in our new apartment the kids have played almost daily with a 3 year old little girl whose mom is a home health aide at a house a couple of doors down.
Before we moved to our current apartment we had walked and driven down this street several times. We had often admired a house near here and always saw kids in the yard. When decided to move here people told us of the family who lived there and the story I got was that she was a pediatrician and they had lots of kids. Funny thing is we have not seen anyone at the house all summer long. We thought that maybe they go away for the summer or took a bunch of vacations. Last night Caleb saw the little boy out and wanted to go and introduce himself so a large group of us descended on the house. After having his sisters wrestle him to be introduced the boys quickly discovered that they both loved Star Wars and were fast friends. The boy is younger than Hannah but Caleb is thrilled to have a boy around closer to his age (on our last street the nearest boy that came over to play was 2.) Our girls quickly started playing Barbies with their middle girl who is between Caleb and Hannah's ages. With the kids off playing I got a chance to talk to the mom (who is not a pediatrician) and found out they were indeed away for most of the summer. The dad came out and I called Glenn so he could come over and chat for a bit as well. The dad is a doctor (OB, I think). They didn't start having kids until he was almost done with residency so he thinks we're a little nuts going through med school with 4 kids :) (oh, and their "lots of kids" only equal 3.)
Having kids to play with across the street was a motivation for the kids to get their school work done faster (since school doesn't start around here until next week). There are a lot of toys in their much bigger house though so I believe we may be having some conversations about contentment in the days to come.