We live in an ex-pat community, so we often see a tonne of people moving in and out. It isn’t a huge community, but is older* and established, so most of the 300 or so houses are rarely vacant for long and moving trucks ae pretty common sight. Our street is a short and quiet street, with only six houses on it, and has been fully occupied for the last six months.
We were really happy to meet our across the street neighbours and their two children, aged three and five, shortly after we moved in. It took a few weeks, but the four lils began to play together often. Whenever one duo heard the other outside, they raced out to join in play, be it road hockey, biking, football, tennis, cricket, or various combinations of those games. They were a good fit, and enjoyed countless hours playing together. This little group was joined by two little girls in January, who moved beside us. While they didn’t play together with the lils as often, they always enjoyed their time together, especially when they were passing treasures to each other through the fence. Both of those families were planning to be in Bangalore for a long time, so we were both happy to know that the friends would be here for the rest of our stay, and sad to know that we would be breaking up these friendships in the fall.
As it goes with ex-pat life, things change. All of a sudden one family is moving home for a new job, and the other is moving because their assignment was cut short. Both of these moves happened this week. The lils knew that they were coming, but that doesn’t make it easy. Thankfully, the girls next door spent their last morning in India here, and they had a great last play date. They had fun together, took many pictures, and were ready to say goodbye when the time came.
Our across the street neighbours left without saying goodbye. The children flew to their grandparents house late Tuesday night, and did not return during the packing. The house is now empty, and their driver confirmed for us that they are not coming back. I suspected this might happen when I heard the children leaving after bedtime on Monday, and began to prepare Woo and Goose, yet I am left with the questions. “Why would they leave without saying goodbye”, and “Are you sure that they aren’t going to come back?” are the most common ones. They are left hanging, and it upsets us all.
I know that things get forgotten, and that you can’t think of everything, but I wish their parents had thought to let us know that they were leaving as the lils stopped playing together on Monday. It was obviously the last chance that they would have to play together, and saying goodbye would have been a natural thing. Instead the lils are left hanging.
*older is really a relative term, given that the community is six years old*