Friday, March 7, 2008

My Village by Way of LA

From the moment I got to Los Angeles, I began telling people I didn't plan to stay. Fifteen years ago, of course. And it is home now.

I have caught myself complaining a lot over the years about how I'm a small town girl who got lost a very long way from home, that I need to live where people bring you food when you move in next door and you help them shovel their walk when it snows.

Well, I'm kind of thick headed and stupid sometimes.

The other day I counted, and I realized I've lived in 16 homes in 36 years, eight of them in Los Angeles. We moved to our current home late last July. Guess what happened? Of course. A woman who lives across the street stopped by, along with her dog Zipper, while we were still getting unpacked from boxes in the garage. She wanted to drop off some homemade jam for us. I'd shovel her walk if it weren't in Southern California.

I feel a little lost in the less literal place where our family lives right now... the land of acronyms and neuroscience and spectrum disorders... but oh my goodness, I've never had so much jam from my "neighbors" near and far.

This afternoon the rooster and his dad went across the street - and I do mean right across the street, about 150 feet at most - to try floor time for the first time ever with our neighbor, Sweet D, also almost four and on the spectrum. Let me tell you, sharing like that beats a cup of sugar by miles. AND, when I checked the mail, I found a package from a dear, dear friend who lives only about twenty or thirty minutes from me. I'd told her recently about the rooster's issues, the upcoming appointments and school decisions facing us. Inside the package, I kid you not, was a Cadbury bar and a card saying that sometimes kind words and chocolate help get us through. This same beautiful woman showed up at my front door not long after I had my second child with a healthy lunch, cookies for dessert, and the supplies I'd been weeping about running out of when I spoke to her on the phone that day (diapers for the rooster and breast feeding supplies), so I guess it shouldn't have surprised me, but I did admit without hesitation that I am kind of thickheaded.

Tonight, I opened my email to find such warmth and responsiveness to my recent posts that it overwhelms me, and in the best possible way. What I am trying to say is this:

I live in Los Angeles, I hang out in the blogosphere, I have neighbors near and far, I am struggling, I am fortunate, I am grateful.


Niksmom said...

That's one of the things I love best about blogging; it has opened up so many avenues of support, knowledge, friendship which would not have otherwise been possible before.

So glad you are reaching out and finding connections. We may not always have answers but we sure have understanding and compassion for one another! Sometimes that can carry me through the toughest days.

Anonymous said...

I felt really alone with my special needs girl until I discovered the blogging community. I thought I was the only one with a kid like mine - one who wasn't developing along the norm.

I'm glad you have found community ... in the blogosphere and in LA, too.