Thursday, August 9, 2012

Need to vent...

Today, we went across the street to meet our new neighbors.  Very nice people, kids were a little rough, but it could be worse, right?  So, while I was talking to the mom, the kids began throwing around those small spikey seed balls off a sugar gum tree.  I had my back to the kids, but I noticed after a bit, that they were throwing these balls across the street into our neighbor's yard.  Now, this neighbor is VERY particular about her yard.  I know that.  As soon as I noticed they were doing that, I made sure that they stopped.  We finished talking and walked back across the street.  I asked Levi to go next door and pick up any seed balls that he saw in the neighbor's yard.  He came back with maybe 5. 

We sat down to have snacks and then someone came banging on our front door- like something was really wrong, you know, an emergency or something.  I saw my VERY particular neighbor and I could tell that she was agitated.  I ran to open the door, to help her with whatever she needed, and she started yelling at me.  She accused me of throwing all kinds of junk in her yard (and used some choice cuss words here while my kids were listening-boo).  She went on to say, "There's dysfunctional kids over there(pointing at the new neighbor's house) and then, add YOUR kids, and well...HAVE FUN!" in a horribly sarcastic way, and they stomped off.  When she got to the point where our yards meet, she yelled, "And mow your yard or I am calling the city!"  (She mows hers 4 times a week and we mow ours about 4 times a month, if that.)

I just stood there, speechless.  Mostly because I know this neighbor and I like her.  I have thought that perhaps she doesn't love my kids, but she has always been very nice to them and would give them popsicles and things.  She mows part of my yard (which I thought she was doing just to be nice...)  We would carol there at Christmas and take over bread and cookies.  Her husband often snowblows our driveway and front walk.  I did not expect this from her.  She is very gossipy and I have often wondered what she says behind my back, but now, I guess I know!  My feelings were are so hurt and I just can't get over it.  I don't care that much about what she thinks of me, but now I feel like I should keep my kids away from her and not ever say hi or even wave to her. 

Seriously?  I feel like I am in middle school trying to figure out what I have done to deserve this.  And, if this is how a 65 year old lady deals with conflict in her life, she's got bigger problems than I thought.  I guess I just need to let this go.  I think the part that really bugs is that she implied that I am a bad mom and that my kids are bad.  I have never gotten this vibe from her before and I talk to her often in the summer. 

The kids were very upset about the whole thing.  As soon as I shut the door, Levi said, "What have we done?  Will she call the police?"  Natalie said, "Are we going to be arrested?" and Seth said, "Is she going to take all my toys away?"  It was heartbreaking!  I am hoping she had a horrible day and that this "yard junk" was the last straw, but I wished she would have calmly walked over and said, "There is junk in my yard.  It came from your kids, come pick it up."  We would have happily and apologetically done it.  As it is now, I am upset, the kids are upset and there is nothing we can do to fix it. Boo!!! 

Thanks, everyone.  I feel much better now:)  Back to my happy bloggy life!


emily said...

awwwww, I am sorry to hear that! Especially the part about your kids. We had a neighbor experience where the "nice grandma" type who always brought the kids gifts on holidays all of a sudden went crazy on me saying the kids were driving her nuts. It was really hard to explain to the kids that they couldn't be friends anymore and don't talk to the person or go to her house (at her request). I think Elle still has hard feelings for her... Anyways she went to jail for keying the (other neighbor's car) and had to go to anger management classes, so maybe it was all for the best... Still. I felt pretty offended and hated the drama.
You are a GOOD mom with some of the BEST kids I've ever known. I hope things patch up fast between you all...

Shanna said...

I am so sorry that has happened. I know how you are feeling. I wish I could give you a big hug. Maybe a nice letter just telling her you stopped the kids as soon as you saw and had Levi picking them up.. I don't know. I know it can be difficult knowing your neighbor is upset. I am never sure how to fix the problems either. Pray for her I guess. Can't go wrong where the lord is concerned.

Ange said...

Oh Anna, I'm so sorry! How sad. And, oh my goodness, your poor kiddos! I can't believe anyone would say that - especially given the background information. And I would feel the same way you do. I hope that you can let it go, and everything smoothes over quickly! Having an uncomfortable vibe with a neighbor is so hard since you can bump into them all the time. I really hope she was just having a bad day, and she comes back to apologize. Boo!

Our new house is located by a lot of older neighbors who are also very particular about their yards and mowing . . . and we are not. But we try to be very friendly, etc. So far, the only complaint we've had is about us or visitors parking on the street in front of their house. (A public city street, so no one's real claim.) They mentioned it pretty nicely, and we were definitely nonconfrontational about it. But it does stress me out - when someone comes over who I've forgoten to mention it to, do I ask them to go move their car? Will the neighbors care that much? Ugh . . . maybe we should just move out to the country. :)