To my wonderful neighbors,
I'll never forget when I first moved into the neighborhood. At age seven, my biggest concern was that there weren't going to be any kids to play with and that I was just going to be stuck with my brothers and no one else.
Well luckily, I was extremely wrong. Growing up in our neighborhood was the biggest blessing I could ever ask for. Whether we were riding our bikes up and down the road, playing on the trampoline, jumping on the "marshmallows" or playing games in the pool, we were always doing something together and having the time of our lives. The endless games of capture the flag and manhunt are still some of my favorite memories to this day.
Not to mention, we were quite creative. Remember that time we all got roller blades for Christmas because we were going to start a hockey team? And whose great idea was it to start a game of human capture the flag? We were all so obsessed with the Olympics so we decided to put on our own. At age nine, I've never trained so hard for something in my life. Or even that time when we tried to start a band, I'm still cringing at the thought of that. Needless to say that those didn't go over too well, but we had so much fun trying to do all of that stuff.
As we grew older, we weren't just neighbors anymore, we became a family. We were there for each other, in the good times and bad. We comforted each other when a loved one died, the loss of a pet, a breakup or even when someone lost a baseball game. We could have the best time just sitting at China Buffet and talking or talking over an excessive amount of pizza in the kitchen.
Spending so much time together, we experienced many firsts with each other. When we all got our licenses and driving together for the first time. The first time we traded in our bikes and roller blades for beer and bonfires. The first time some of us drank, or even the first time some of us drank too much. The first time we tried to throw a party, the first time we tried to sneak beer into the basement and trying to drink discreetly. We never judged each other for drinking too much and getting a little "white girl wasted." Needless to say, I'm very thankful that many of these moments happened just between us.
When college came around, we all knew that we would be separated but we weren't sure what it was going to do to us exactly. We all wouldn't be spending every weekend together and it was definitely going to be different. But we all knew that there wasn't a chance that distance was going to ruin our bond that we had.
Away at school, I found myself often telling stories about things that we did together at home and found myself missing all of you. There's nothing like a good conversation about sandwiches and deli meats, which none of my friends at school understood nor found normal. But I knew when winter break came around, we would all be back together sharing stories from college and reminiscing about the old times.
Soon we'll all graduate from college, get real jobs and move away from the neighborhood we all call home. It's scary to think about and makes me nostalgic. I know in the future we'll all be at each other's weddings, visiting each other in our new homes and probably still discussing what parameters truly make a sandwich.
I know with all of my heart that no matter where we all go in life, you will all be my family forever. There is no greater bond than our neighborhood has, it is unbreakable. I just want to say thank you for an unforgettable childhood and making it the best childhood that anyone could ever ask for.
Your neighbor forever