It makes sense that our last dinner at 506 Hibriten Avenue was on Mother's Day. For years we have gathered here to celebrate holidays, special days, and every days. The same familiar faces have graced the doors for as long as I can remember, and laughter is background noise in most conversations. Not just any laughter: A deep, loud, uninhibited, tears streaming down your face kind of laughter. The kind that makes you glad you're alive. The comfortable openness that resonates from the Hutchen's house is the foundation of happy memories for many people young and old. Throughout the years we have grown together in some ways and apart in others, but lessons learned in this house have taught me to be a better friend, a better neighbor, and a better mother.
1. Regardless of your thoughts on graffiti, let your children (and their friends) write on the walls. I don't care if it's in an unfinished attic, designate a place where they can express themselves. They will write about BFFs, biggest loves, strongest enemies, vulgar jokes, and funny memories. One day this wall will be an invaluable masterpiece that represents happy days and happy people.
2. Even the greenest thumb with the most astute taste in landscaping can allow room in their yard for a tree house. When that tree house is built, take a picture. One day that fortress will simply be a board in a tree, but the former architects will smile upon its mention.
3. Start traditions. Bake cookies at Christmas and spread them across the entire kitchen table. These cookies should be intricately decorated with colored sugar crystals and tasty icing. You may insist that they are reserved for neighborhood Christmas gifts, but look the other way while the little people who fill your house steal them in passing. Cookies obtained through sneaky measures taste a hundred times better.
4. Encourage your children to have friends of the opposite sex. Learning to love deeply without being in love is an important lesson. There may well be a time when this person is the greatest cure for a dark winter or a broken heart.
5. Walk the beautiful balance between a saver and a hoarder. Notes that seem pretty funny at the time will likely make you pee your pants 13 years later. This extends beyond notes and includes top secret spy notebooks.
6. Make an effort. Celebrating the every days does not happen unless someone initiates. No one is unique in a Busy schedule or a crowded day, but life long friendships should not be neglected.
7. Show others that you care. Fill your refrigerator with pictures of family and friends when they make the news paper, a news letter, or iphone photo library. There's nothing like seeing your picture on another persons fridge to make you feel like a family member.
8- There's nothing wrong with a bowl cut and Beauty and the Beast light up shoes. Let your kids chase their own unique personality.
|Fashion has always been a priority.|
There are new families on our streets now. Young, fresh families with children the same ages that we were when we moved into this neighborhood. If they're really lucky, these neighbors will become the friends that they one day call family. To the new residents of 506 Hibriten Avenue: I hope your memories are half as sweet.