Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Location: MA, United States

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

You Put the Peppermint In The Mocha; You Put the Nanny In The Neighborhood

Ahh, the post-Thanksgiving rush... Twinkly lights, eye-bleed inducing 24/7 Christmas music, and the Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks!

I know I gripe a lot about the privileged denizens of Beacon Hill, but here's a truth I don't always own up to. I love this neighborhood.

All my life I've gravitated towards small communities. Girl Scout camp was my second home during the summers, returning year after year to see the same friends among the new faces. Worcester Academy had 250 students across 7 class years, and a faculty who knew you, even if they hadn't taught you. There were old, ivy covered brick buildings, a round quad (yes, I know....), and odd traditions. Middlebury was larger by almost 10 times, but still small, and a close community. I was comfortable having a familiar path to walk, friends I could expect to see certain places, and an understanding of myself as I related specifically to my environment. I imagine some would say I have a massive crisis of identity, but that's when I was happiest with where I was.

Beacon Hill has, for me, that same feeling of neighborhood. I know the neighbors, I see them around. I have friends that I've made of over the years who live and work here. The baristas at Starbucks know my order, and give me hard time if I switch it up, as I did this morning, in observance of Peppermint Mocha season. There are children I know from O's preschool, and dogs we've met through a few dog walkers with whom I'm friendly. Beacon Hill feels like a neighborhood. Where I live, there are houses in a row on the same street, and very few of us actually know one another; where I work, there are people crammed in on top of each other, and many of them drive me crazy with their pretention and snobbery, but they interact. They are aware of themselves within the community, and for better or worse, I like that.

So, this morning, I packed out of my car, and was slightly disappointed when we didn't see one of our garage security friends. We stopped at Starbucks, surprised the barista with a different order, and saw a friend. We socialized a moment, picked up the coffee and headed to work. We stopped to say hi to a friend and neighbor of O's, with her mom, on their way to school. Felix waved to the man who sets up the outside display at the little market, and he waved back. A few moments later, I got mad at an inconsiderate driver, like I do from time to time. I got to work, and I felt like a part of something. If that isn't a cure for this isolating age, I don't know what is. Unless it's a Peppermint Mocha.

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