It was sometime in January when I realized my neighbor was pregnant. I had seen them move in two doors down and I had told myself many times that we needed to go introduce ourselves and be neighborly. They were our age, or near it, but for some excuse always come up when I thought about making the trip over. Maybe it was her. I wasn’t sure they would want to meet the neighbors; a lot of people don’t these days, content to live private lives. More than that though, I was intimidated. This girl was really pretty. Like the kind of pretty that makes you want to hate them just for being pretty, or if I was a guy, I would say she was hot. It’s intimidating. Sometimes the pretty people aren’t always the most friendly. She did have this really great wooden tree with lights on it by her front door though that made her seem more homey. It was my kind of style. Still, we remained strangers.
Even after the destructive ice storm swept through Kentucky and killed the power on our street for over a week, we did not extend a greeting. We did notice that the giant tree across the street from their house come crashing down during the storm. That would of been the perfect opportunity to offer to help clean it up, especially since the tree’s owners did not do it. I did feel bad for her, being without power and pregnant. I remember remarking to Aaron, right before we left for our trip to Gatlinburg, that I didn’t envy her being uncomfortable already, and then to not have warmth. Little did I know at that moment, but that was exactly what I was, we would just make that little discovery the day we came back from vacation.
You would think that finally, after having common ground to share, it would have been easy to walk over and say hello, especially since I kept feeling a certain nudging from You Know Who. Not Aaron, though he was bugging me as well. I mean, I was tired and nauseous and emotional and….. You get the picture. It literally took a sign for me to follow instructions.
It was May by this time and a little blue sign appeared in their garden, announcing the arrival of their new baby boy, Connor. That was enough. My hospitality gift kicked into overdrive and my desire to hold a new baby was the icing of the cake. I had just purchased some muffin mix for a bake sale at work, but I figured they didn’t need all of them. I told Aaron I was making them and to get ready to meet the neighbors! Approximately 45 minutes later we stood nervously outside their door, basket of hot, chocolate chip muffins in hand. I almost chickened out when it took them a minute to answer the door.
Once we were in the door and Nathan, the dad, all but tossed us his newborn son, I knew we would be friends. The kicker was when he introduced Connor’s mom, Heather. I literally laughed out loud as we realized we had quite a few things in common already. The visit lasted well over an hour and the friendship between the Heathers has blossomed and will hopefully continue to grow. I’m thankful to know I was able walk two doors down and find a someone who was looking for the same thing I was; a friend.
I often wonder how much better those 5 months would have been if I had just listened and responded to that little voice nudging me to just reach out in friendship. Instead, I let fear, anxiousness, busyness, and plain old stubbornness rob me of a beautiful gift God was offering me.
My friendship with Heather has been one of the greatest blessings I have received while living here in Kentucky. I had continually been praying for a friend, and among the many He provided, how amazing that He provided not only a friend, but a neighbor, two doors down, that was a mother of a little boy. Someone to share insight, wisdom, tears, laughter, frustration, and joys. Someone who has a heart like mine.
It has been a joy to watch our boys grow together these past 7 months. I even got the inside track of being a new mom watching her with Connor before Micah arrived. Heather has run over to watch Micah on a moment’s notice, and we have returned the favor. We get to cruise Walmart knowing the other understands the fussy little boy in the shopping cart. We get to share real life, and that is the best thanks I’ll ever get for a basket full of muffins.
Connor, Micah, and Heather
Us Moms don’t get on camera too much!