Friday, May 19, 2006

Parent Trap: Part III Another Case Study

A funny thing happened this evening and it made me think of all the ideas around family size. Glenn Reynolds says he thinks that the social pressures inhibit bigger families. Based on this little experience today, I agree.

Our neighbor got robbed and so a worried 60-something neighbor came by to collect names and phone numbers. She feels the neighborhood is too disconnected and needs to "get off our butts and do something". "It's no good that we don't know each other," she lamented. Here I would agree. But in our defense, all but one neighbor on our cul-de-sac has lived here for less than a year and yet we all know each other. Ms. Neighbor lives down the street and we don't know her as well.

Anyway, I told her that the lot next door had been bought by a family with five children. The rest of us on the block are delighted. One neighbor has 5, the other two neighbors have two children a piece. All great families. All great kids.

"Well," she huffed, "time to sell! We have five bedrooms and four and half bathrooms and 4200 feet--good for a family (her husband just had quintuple bypass surgery and needs to live on one floor)."

She just breezed along through the rest of her rambling. Steve was peeved. I laughed. But she illustrated the point. Families are a menace! We wondered how all the children now inhabiting the neighborhood had influenced her at all. I couldn't think of one negative experience. Even the teenagers around are nice kids. She just didn't like kids. You should have seen her face when she heard the big family news. It was like she was smelling chicken manure for the first time.

And here's the best part: she's a children's author and artist. Ha!

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