After my last post, I received a lot of comments and emails saying how sad it was that Sam is growing up without a backyard. It was an interesting response given that is not at all how I meant it.
Because I am a city girl.
Much as I like nature and love hiking, skiing and mountain biking, I am not fond of the suburbs. For what we paid on our condo in the city, we could easily afford a large, suburban house outside the city belt. If we decided to move to OH, we could even afford a McMansion. R and I choose where we live.
I love Boston for a million reasons (although, note to my husband: I always would prefer NYC). Even though we do not live directly downtown, I love that we live within walking distance of the subway and the opportunity to visit 8 million museums. There are always plays to see, exhibits to attend and festivals to wander. I love the pace and culture of a city.
I do not think it is sad at all for a child to grow up in the city. We take her to parks everyday where she sees children of all different cultures. Last night, she played with the young Guatemalan sons of a two-dad family, an extremely friendly 4-year-old Russian girl and three other children who did not speak English. I am thrilled for her that she will have all these opportunities to expand her world. I spent six years of my childhood, from 10-16 living in the burbs and I am sorry about that.
Once we moved up here, a whole world opened up to me--a world where anything was possible. Of course, one aspect of that is always the people who live in any given town as well as the culture. We did not move to the city itself when I moved up here, but we did move to an extremely liberal town just a few minutes outside the city where children were expected to succeed at levels I had never even fathomed before.
Ultimately, a suburb can be great. But it depends on the suburb. And the ones worth living in around here are all twice the price of our condo. We have to work to get there. I like that. From some people's perspective, R and I are doing quite well at 30. We own a condo, we have 1.5 children, a dog and a cat. We both have advanced degrees and make a decent amount of money. We could just be done.
But we are not. That is the beauty of what a city in general and Boston in particular afford us. Right now, I feel like we are only halfway towards our goals and when I compare myself to some of the people I graduated from high school with up here, I actually feel behind. I like that. I want Sam exposed to the amazing diversity and competition and excitement of a city. Of course, I also want her exposed to nature, but she has that in the lake house. She will learn to ski next winter. She will be snowshoeing, tracking deer, kayaking, water skiing and enjoying hikes within the next couple years--every weekend if she wants it.
And then she will get back to her real life in the city. I know it is not for everyone, but for me and my family, this is the preferable way to live. Someday we may desire a backyard and lawn. But even then, it will not be far from a city. If and when we buy a single family, it will be within walking distance of everything we could possibly need. That is just how we roll.
So, I am sorry if I made it sound like something I was sad about. In fact, I am anything but. The only thing that makes me sad is the idea that I might have to someday leave the city behind.