Our old neighbourhood I knew inside and out. Of course, I’d lived there for years. I never really ‘explored’, exactly, but instead just learned the neighbourhood bit by bit. I took up running for a little bit … until I remembered just how much I hate it. I go through phases like that where I’ll be inspired to run, think there’s noting to it but determination and just plain doing it, then a week or so later wonder what the hell I was thinking. But this isn’t about running. Back to topic. I’d take a different route to a friend’s house, or head to a store I knew had something I needed.
With an almost-four-year-old though, things are a little different. I need to know where the parks are, where the playgrounds are, what roads are busy, which ones are nice to walk on, how to get here and there. So Cameron and I have set off two days in a row now deliberately to explore.
The funny part about this is that Cameron knows the neighbourhood. This is new, and is taking some adjusting. My not-yet-four-year-old led me by the hand to the playground he wanted to visit on Saturday. It’s several blocks away and to the best of my knowledge he’d been there only once, over a month ago. I love his new daycare – they go for walks!
Then today he knew the way to the stairs I wanted to find – he’d been down them with Leif on Saturday afternoon when they went for a walk to let me have a nap.
Slowly, we’re learning the lay of the neighbourhood. Both Saturday and Sunday we headed out with an area in mind to explore – a playground to find, a park to walk through, shops to see. I try to combine them, so I get to learn what is where, and Cameron gets to run and play a bit. From what I can tell, this exploration will take us some time. We’re surrounded by forested parks. We’re in playground central. There is a neat shopping area just up from us, and a more mainstream one just a fifteen minute walk down from us. There are community centres, a neighbourhood house, a pool, a library, and who knows what else all within walking distance.
Slowly, the apartment is becoming home. And gradually, the neighbourhood is too.