This is Silicon Valley, the technology capital of the world. If you haven’t noticed, the pace of life is very fast – often overwhelming! Yet, people like to feel a sense of belonging within the context of a community or neighborhood. People want to connect with each other – and not just on social media. Many of the Buyers I helped told me, “Our old neighborhood felt isolated. We didn’t know any of our neighbors and hardly ever saw them.”
Consider a different experience that happens all the time in the thriving community within the Mayberry of Silicon Valley. More than 15 years ago, my wife and I took our pre-schooler and toddler to the school playground around the corner from our house. There we met another family who had kids about the same page as ours. A few months later, on the first day of Kindergarten, we saw them again because our children were in the same class. Our kids have been BFF’s ever since! And, the parents have become our close friends, too. Our families spend a lot of time together in various activities centered around the kids, including sport and the YMCA Adventure Guides* (a father/daughter/son club). We celebrate Thanksgiving and New Year’s together every year and have taken vacations (e.g. camping, skiing, etc) together. Here’s what really solidified our friendships though. For many years, we enjoyed the routine of going out to dinner every Friday. Our kids’ busy schedules don’t allow us to eat together every week anymore but we do go out for birthdays – the PARENTS’ BIRTHDAYS that is! Believe it or not, this is not unusual in the Mayberry of Silicon Valley. Many parents become close friends with the parents of their kids’ friends.
It doesn’t happen very often, but once in awhile a family moves away. Then we look forward to reunion gatherings when they come back to visit. I helped a couple of families move to Oregon a few years ago and their girls still come back to visit their friends from elementary school during the summer.
*If you’re interested in learning more about YMCA Adventure Guides, I’d love to share my stories. Even though my daughters graduated out of the club over 5 years ago, I still informally recruit Dads to start Circles each year since the club has such special meaning to me.