Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sending Down Roots

This morning was one of those mornings that illustrated just how rooted we're becoming in Roslindale. Yes, we've lived here 5+ years. But I'm a Texan. BestestHusband is a Minnesotan. We've lived in Boston for over a decade, but in our hearts, we're not locals. 

Yet every passing week allows our roots to grow a little deeper into the rocky soil of our neighborhood of Boston. I love the coyotes that live behind our house. I love the stunning expanse of the Arboretum across the street. I love the short walk to visit friends for play dates. I love the hilly walks to Rosi Square and the playground. 

This morning, our goal was to get to Rosi Square to hear the Mayor speak. Mumbles was supposed to talk about capital improvements around Boston, including our local library. That sparked my interest. Our local library is grimy. It's definitely a good candidate for improvement. Well, thanks to a tantrum, a timeout, and meeting a new dog-walking neighbor along the way, we missed the talk. But we didn't miss the Mayor. He was leaving, on crutches and a walking boot, when we came face-to-face with him. We had the double-wide stroller, and we were kinda blocking the path... He was delightful. If he could have gotten face-to-face with the girls, he would have. He complimented HeyMama's glittery shoes. He asked what they were doing. He asked which playground they liked. I suspected he needed to get off of his foot, so I didn't launch into a quick tirade about the terror I felt about the BPS lottery. I got the stroller out of his way. But I wanted to the girls to meet the Mayor. Because in Boston, that's not an unusual thing. 

After saying "Hi" to the Mayor, we went to the market. We bought coconut milk. We used their bathroom. Then we went to the local seamstresses' shop. I dropped stuff off for alteration. The girls played with toys in the waiting room. The seamstress and I chatted a bit before I left. The florist wasn't open yet, so we went to the bakery for a snack. There was another mom with 2 small children there. The kids ran around together. We moms chatted. The lady behind the counter chatted with us. The other mom told me about a fun activity planned in the Square later in the day. We all left and I tried the florist again. (Still no luck.) We headed to the playground. We stayed there for a long while. I found a mom I had met there previously. Her son and my girls ran around together. A few other kids joined them. We chatted for a while. She's a nurse, and also works part time. We talked work. We talked childcare and school. We talked church. We talked extracurricular activities. We discussed seeing each other at the gym later this evening. Then MeToo fell and cried for a long time. Then started sucking her thumb. She rarely sucks her thumb. I knew we wouldn't make it to the fun activity in the Square and we'd have to go home for a nap instead. So we started heading home. We poked our heads into an apartment complex's courtyard with a lovely garden. The gardener was there. She invited us to walk through and see the flowers. The girls ran around looking at the different colored tulips. The gardener and I chatted about plants for a few minutes. Then we walked home.

We did our morning's errands on foot, with a stroller. Now that gas is $4/gallon, this is a nice thing. But we talked to more than half a dozen other people during our errands. Nice people. This too is a nice thing. We could have stopped by a friend's house on the way home, but they just happen to be out of town. In a few months, one of our daycare teachers is moving in down the street. We're surrounded by friends and friendly people. We can't go to the Square without talking to at least 3 people. Usually they're strangers, but increasingly we run into co-workers and friends. I feel an increasing rootedness here in Roslindale. It's amazing how it can creep up on you. 

It has a striking similarity to our front yard. (This is a stretch of an analogy, so just bear with me...) A year ago, dear friends Anne and Audrey helped me rip up the sod in the front yard. It was one of the rare summers that we were all simultaneously NOT pregnant, and we were actually excited to do some dirty manual labor. We don't have a large front yard, so it was a do-able task, but it was a bit back-breaking. The yard looked pretty awful. We planted over a hundred small plugs of a creeping flowering plant that would remove the need to mow our tiny elevated/walled front yard. We knew it would take a few years to really fill in. But bit by bit, it has. The creeping tendrils have spread through the empty spaces, and the plants look good. Yes, there is still plenty of room to grow, but the plants have firmly taken hold. Noone would confuse our yard with the Sloanes' yard down the street that has been perfectly cultivated and groomed for decades. Our plants are still newcomers. But they're firmly rooted. Taking them out would be difficult and painful. I'm starting to think that this is how we are, too. We still have room to become more settled and integrated into our neighborhood, but uprooting ourselves would be quite painful. Like some of our tulip bulbs brought back from an extended layover in Amsterdam, we're transplants that have some history in this neighborhood. I think we're thriving here. 

Some lovely flowers that are thriving on our porch.

Here are some tulips be brought back from Amsterdam last year, and a baby lilac in the background that the Arboretum gave us when we became members.

Our front yard has really come along in one year...

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  1. This is the kind of day we don't have in the 'burbs. We do take dog walks & meet neighbors, but getting any shopping done requires a car or (heaven forbid 'cuz our service is lousy) a bus. Our roots were firmly in FW before moving to MA, and it hurt to be transplanted but we survived and even thrived. To have the roots torn out again so soon hurt even worse. Now my heart is in two places at once! I love hearing about HeyMamma and MeToo's adventures. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for being such a great audience Janice! Keep reading, and I'll make sure to hit all the highlights of local life. It will be like you never left!

  2. Dare I say, you've come a long way since the days of your "ABB" motto! Which makes me very thankful...we're blessed to have you so close.

    1. Ok, so maybe I have had a change of heart...