|City worker just finished raking up the last of the tree bits.|
After the guys had finished the work with the power saws, we went a bit closer & they chatted with us a bit as they used loppers & hand saws to finish off the job. The younger guy on the crew told me proudly that he had a 15-month-old & showed us a photo of her on his smartphone. Situations like this happen all the time when I'm out & about with Sprout. People seem more inclined to talk to you when they have a baby or toddler watching their activities.
I think the frequent conversations with strangers--be it other parents at the playground, elderly ladies on the bus, city workmen of various sorts in our neighbourhood, people asking about the bike seat when we're stopped at lights--has really helped me feel more connected to my community. I find regularly talking to other people & finding common ground with strangers (we both have toddlers, for example) is so key to maintaining empathy for others, seeing that we're all in the same boat. I hope that it'll rub off on Sprout too.
It's not just about having a child, however. Living in a pedestrian-oriented urban neighbourhood, taking transit & cycling a lot, we have so many opportunities to interact with people. I wonder if we'd talk to strangers as often if we lived in a less dense car-oriented suburb?
Do you find that you talk to strangers more since you have a child? (or a dog--I hear you get a similar effect)