We have lived on the same street for nearly 25 years. When we moved in our children were in pre-school and kindergarten. As time went by, they and the other children on the street grew up and moved on as we became the old-timers, and new younger families moved in with their own little children.
It is nice to see children play in the streets in the summer. It is also nice to watch them grow. Children and dogs are great ways to get to know people in your neighborhood. One does not like to stop strangers in the street to make conversation but if they are accompanied by dogs or small children, it is perfectly appropriate to ask about them and this provides a gateway to getting to know the people. I have got to know many of the children down the street, and through them their parents, because the children would stop their playing and come and pet Baxter when he was out on a walk.
This is why I would never live in a gated community that forbids children or pets. I would not live in a gated community at all, for that matter, but one that is only open to older people and specifically excludes children and pets strikes me as a terribly dull place. It is true that children and pets can be noisy at times but they also provide liveliness to one’s experience that would be missed by me.
And yet some people seem to dislike the presence of children so much, and are so committed to avoiding their presence, that they seem to be even willing to vandalize the property of those who commit even minor infractions of the rules against children in their gated communities.