By Megan Breedlove

What do you fondly remember about the neighborhood you grew up in?

Did neighborhood children play together, riding bikes or kicking a ball back and forth? Did pet owners feel safe walking their dogs on sun-dappled afternoons? Did neighbors know each other, passing by with a friendly wave, or sometimes stopping to chat?

All these things were true of the Iowa neighborhood I grew up in. I wanted all these things to be true of the Texas neighborhood in which I would raise my own children, too. 

I wanted to raise my children in a place where our family would feel a sense of belonging. Where there was a distinct and enfolding sense of community. Where neighbors would have the opportunity to watch each other’s families grow and change, because most people stayed long enough for this to happen.

In other words, I wanted to be part of a neighborhood like Rosemont.

In Rosemont, families know each other. I know in some city neighborhoods, people keep to themselves. Each family lives its separate life next to another family living its own separate life. Not so here. Rosemont families know everyone on their block, as well as many other families throughout the neighborhood. We invite each other to parties and celebrations. We form lasting friendships. We include each other in our lives.

And we share a common culture. I don’t mean that every family in Rosemont is of the same race, background, or beliefs. We’re not. Most of us are Hispanic; some are not. But all are welcome. All are accepted. All are Rosemont.

Children can play outside in our Rosemont neighborhood, and they frequently do—and not just with their own siblings. Children from different families play together. Again, most of us know each other, so joining in with someone else’s activities is common and expected.

We have parks where kids can play, where soccer games can be held, or where parties or church services can take place and attract others. People walk on the walking tracks or ride bikes. Families who don’t know each other, but happen to be there at the same time, form connections and then carry those connections back to their part of the neighborhood.

Our neighborhood is hard-working. We are not the wealthiest neighborhood in the city, and we know what it is to work. Our children grow up seeing everybody working and having the expectation for their own lives that they, too, will one day get a job and work hard.

Rosemont is filled with families who care and want to make things better, not just for themselves, but for the whole neighborhood, and even the whole city of Fort Worth. We each make our own contributions, and we value the contributions of others. 

My husband and I have lived here since we were married more than 26 years ago – and he lived in Rosemont before that. All five of our children were born while we lived here and have grown up here. They’ve gotten to experience a wonderful neighborhood that is constantly growing and reaching upward, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

I want them to experience a neighborhood like Rosemont, where everyone is welcome. Where strangers reach out to each other and become friends. Where they can experience more than one culture. Where they can be safe, and have fun, and look back one day and be glad they grew up here. Where life is simple, and beautiful, and gives them the foundation for the character qualities they will need later in life. Where they even know the name of the paletero (ice cream man).

That’s why we don’t plan to move. Maybe ever. Because we already have everything we need in a neighborhood. 

What more could we ask?

Megan Breedlove is a Spanish and French teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s McLean Middle School. She has lived in Rosemont since 1995. 

To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to hello@fortworthreport.org and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at thomas.martinez@fortwortheport.org.

Rosemont

Total population: 7,370
Female: 51% | Male: 49%

Age
0-9: 18%
10-19: 19%
20-29: 18%
30-39: 15%
40-49: 13%
50-59: 10%
60-69: 6%
70-79: 1%
80 and older: 0%

Education
No degree: 34%
High school: 18%
Some college: 14%
Bachelor’s degree: 13%
Post-graduate: 20%


Race
White: 13% | Asian: 13% | Hispanic: 69% | Black: 3% | Two or more: 2%


Click on the link to view the schools’ Texas Education Agency ratings:

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Haley Samsel

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She previously covered the environment for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She grew up in Plano and graduated from American University,...