In moving to Strange Annapolis, I knew that I wanted my daughter to have the life I had as a child. I grew up attending a neighborhood school which meant that when I got home at the end of the day, there were classmates who lived nearby. I could walk to a friend’s house. Or ride my bike.
Playdates weren’t scheduled and they didn’t require parents to make 20-mile round trips so that you would have someone to play with.
Playdates happened when someone knocked on your door and asked if you could come out to play. As a matter of fact, I don’t think “playdate” was even a word.
This is not the way my daughter has been growing up. Before Strange Annapolis, she was being raised in a city of expensive private schools and failing public ones. I drove 16-miles round trip twice a day to drop her off and pick her up. I hated every single mile of it.
Every. Day. For. Six. Years.
And every evening, she was texting classmates who lived on the other side of the county. She was isolated from her peers.
Last night at the neighborhood party in Strange Annapolis, my daughter met a couple of girls who welcomed her into their tiny circle with open arms and had manners that adults could learn from.
The next day, there was a knock at the door at 9:30 a.m. (people get up early around here.) Her new friends had come to play. She rode off on her bicycle for the half mile trek to their house. I took pictures of them standing in the driveway and riding off into the sunset. My heart was full. This is a better way for my daughter to grow up.
My daughter was mortified during the photo shoot, but my heart was full and I don’t care. It is a mother’s prerogative to take pictures when she needs to. This is a better way for my daughter to grow up.
I am amazed at how fast this happened. Literally a matter of days. And all of a sudden, she went from lonely and isolated, to living the best part of my childhood.
Growing up in Strange Annapolis appears to not be so strange after all.