Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Fence


The following is a small portion of the poem, Mending Wall, by Robert Frost: 
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down'
Our neighbors whose yard adjoins our backyard put up a privacy fence yesterday. The old fence was falling to ruin and there were gaps in the fence. I must say a  big part of me is relieved. There is lots of crime on the street behind us and it has spilled into my backyard a few times over the last 8 years. We even had a drug bust in our driveway once and the folks dropped their drugs in our backyard so the police had to comb our backyard with police dogs. So it is nice to have our backyard closed in again. Also, their cat was driving us crazy. Their cat was only driving us crazy because they wanted us to keep our dog inside the house so it would not hurt their cat when it was in our backyard (not that our dog would hurt a flea, let along a cat)! Also, they had repeatedly told our FASD/RAD child not to touch their cat or kitten, but she kept touching them anyway whenever the animals came into our yard. Have I mentioned impulse control and obedience are not real high on that child's list? And it is, after all, our back yard. Frankly, we felt they were being unreasonable about the cat, but I digress. Lastly, the neighborhood kids from the street behind cut through our neighbor's yard to get into our yard. 

This is the sticky point ~ My kids really enjoyed playing with the children from the street behind.  The fence, in all likelihood, will end that. Now those kids would have to walk around the block, passing the highway exit, etc. That street and this street will return to being different worlds. The truth is, my husband and I fretted all summer long over the behavior of the neighborhood elementary school kids. The foul language, clothing/hairstyles (constant hair color changes), discussions of movies and other things worried us. They made fun of our children who are more sheltered and less sophisticated. We felt that we had to be within ear shot, supervising every second of their interaction with these children. The neighbor kids asked our kids constantly about their belongings and were never impressed (no video games, cable TV, etc.). It was obvious to my husband and me that our kids were seen as an oddity by the neighbor kids. So I am relieved that the fence is up and that in this situation "good fences make good neighbors".... Yet I felt that we were making some progress with the neighbor kids. They were getting to see another lifestyle and experience a simpler life. I also hate to see my kiddos sad. They will get over it, though. As one said to me this morning, "At least we won't have to talk about what is and isn't appropriate behavior anymore." Well I don't know about that, son. There is plenty of inappropriate behavior to go around, even in our own home. LOL

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I'm sure the fence will be a good thing.

  2. www.thepiratemom.comAugust 26, 2009 at 11:58 PM

    I love Robert Frost's poetry. How cool that you applied that one to your situation! And I understand the bittersweet feelings you have....I had a similar situation when a neighbor moved several years ago (A enjoyed playing with the daughter, but I was concerned about the influence).

    Enjoyed your day-in-the-life post too. That was a fun one, wasn't it?