Wednesday, August 20, 2014

being brave and saying hello.

As you may know, we like to go on walks as a family any change we get, and if we can't go as a family Emerson and I will go out on our own. It's pretty much a daily thing around here. Sometimes it happens a few times each day. We love walks and being outside.

Anyhow. Yesterday after dinner we went out for a little walk. We stopped at the park and played for a while and then headed back. Our neighborhood is full of families and most evenings the streets will be full of kids riding their bikes, yelling at each other from the other side of the street, running in their yards, and shooting basketball. It really is a neighborly subdivision we live in. We know our immediate neighbors [sadly, for us, they are older and single, although very nice] but not many of the others.

Well, as we were walking we happened to be walking down one of the streets full of kids playing outside. Passing one of the houses we saw and said a nice little hello to one of the moms that was outside watching her kids. She said 'hey' to us and a 'ho' to Emerson. She seemed nice. And we kept walking.

Only two steps after our short greeting, I thought about how I should have just stopped and introduced myself to her. I mean, what's she going to do, tell me to leave? say she doesn't care? ignore me? She seemed nice from the 47 seconds we had talked to her. But I hadn't said anything to her and we kept walking. And I didn't turn around because that would have been a little awkward. right? The rest of the walk home [all of two minutes] I kept thinking about how I should have talked to her.

Once the garage door was open and we were walking inside, Landon said something or other about how she seemed nice and we -meaning me- should have stopped to talk to her, and that's just what we're going to have to do to make friends around here. I agreed but that was that. We were home, it was time for Emerson's bath and bedtime to follow. Plus, we had already passed her house. Not to mention, we were home.

But, one thing lead to another and essentially Landon shoved me out of the door, strapped Emerson back into the stroller, pushed us out of the garage, and said he would say a prayer for me. I walked back towards her house, trying to think of how I could start talking to her. What would I say? "Um, hi. So I know I just passed your house and all, but um, I decided to come back so I could try and be your friend? I'm Hannah by the way." I was determined to make an effort and knew I had to do it. That's when I saw her laying on the grass, facing her house, reading a book with one of her boys. How do I interupt that? I don't. So I walked slowly by.


When suddenly another one of her boys chirped out a loud, "Hi!" from the back of his daddy's truck bed. After I returned his greeting I debated in my head of whether I should just keep walking, I was already passed where she was, or to stay, back track a little, and talk to her. She heard her son talking to some stranger so she stood up and said hi, again.

And I went for it. I just opened my mouth and said, "I'm Hannah, by the way..." and from there her oldest son took over the conversation. Or at least tried to. It was cute. And I thanked the Lord for that chattily little boy.

As it turned out, she was very nice and we stood and talked for a while. She didn't shun me away for stopping. She didn't run off after I introduced myself. She even asked if we lived in the town houses just around the corner ---which could only mean she saw us walking away. Which might also mean that she saw me walk back as soon as I got home, but eh... I talked to her and decided not to care about that.

Anyhow, that's my story about how I did something entirely out of my comfort zone. My story about the one time I went back to say 'hi' to someone after building up my courage. Hopefully it won't be the last time I see her. And hopefully our kids can play together some time. And hopefully we can maybe be friends. Though if nothing else, at least now we know some more of our neighbors.

The moral of the story? Just say hello - and then your name. It couldn't hurt. [now to remember that for another day...]

Is that how you meet people? Are you just a really chatty, friendly, outgoing person to being with? Have you ever done anything like that?


Courtney [Sweet Turtle Soup] said...

Love this! Good message. Being friendly pays off more than it doesn't! And, how else will you make new friends. I wish my neighborhood was out and about more. We walk and it's pretty empty. I'd love to live someplace that seemed open and friendly and you'd want to make friends with your neighbors.

Lauren said...

great message! I absolutely HATE small talk, but yet I enjoy meeting new people. Elyse has actually encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone in our new neighborhood. It was actually her, my 2 year old, that suggested we walk down the street and say hi just a few days after we had moved in. I still need to be better about this...I'm sure I miss out on some amazing conversations and relationships because I'm too nervous about being judged to just offer a simple "hi."