Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Who do I want to be?

Oh, well Hi there, blog. It's been a while, no?

It has been a busy couple of weeks, and I haven't had anything that was dying to get out of my head and onto (virtual) paper, which means I haven't been here in a while. This could be why I am getting so many emails and comments from people offering to provide content for me;-)

So, let's see...where were we?

We have been doing a little bit of house hunting, but not making much progress at all. If you need any reason why, you can take a quick look at this brand new listing that is kind of indicative of what we would be looking for: a good-sized (but quite vertical) four-bedroom townhouse.  It has, obviously, one pretty obvious flaw. Or, 2.4 million of them, I suppose. I'm also pretty sure that it does not have any parking, either...

And yes, I am fully aware that this is an entirely self-imposed problem...we could buy ourselves a giant, lovely home in any one of a number of lovely suburbs. Suburbs that have some of the country's best public schools and rank as some of the most desirable places in the country for families. But you know what? I don't want to!!! (This could be where my daughters learned to have tantrums:-))

The Boy's friends (who seems to be drawn back to his hometown...which is one of those very lovely suburbs) and some of my friends all seem to be giving us the hard sell on the 'burbs. On lovely places like Belmont and Wellesley and Needham. And on slightly less 'burby-feeling places like Newton or Brookline. Or even more 'burby ones like Concord and Weston and Lexington and Andover. All of which make me want to gag just a little bit.

[That's not totally true...I could live in at least a small part of Brookline. Long-time readers may remember that my original plan when Munchkin was coming here was to move to Brookline because of it's close proximity to the city but excellent public schools. It also happens to be Smoking Hot Roommate's hometown. I will grant that anyone who lives in Coolidge Corner or inbound can still reasonably claim to live "in the city". But that's it.]

I am not sure that my disinterest in living outside of the city makes a lot of sense. It certainly doesn't make any sense to most parents of small children;-). I get a lot of really strange look from friends with little kids, or parents of the girls' friends. The most common question is usually something along the lines of  "But don't you want a house?" And no, I don't want a house, and it's not just because I can't stand the idea of doing yard work (although that is a big part of it!).

Most people will tell you that they wants some privacy and some space and the quiet that comes from having a buffer between you and your neighbors. But that's not who I am...I like being surrounded by people and noise and commotion. I like having people above and below me, or next to me. I like having people walk by our front door at all hours or the day. I'm a city kid, and I always have been and I always will be. I like the noise and commotion. The smells of restaurants (yea, I know, there are other smells, too). I hate...HATE...having to drive places.

Maybe I should say that again. I DESPISE having to get in the car for anything other than a long trip. I abhor it. Loathe it. Despise it. I wish I had a bigger vocabulary to get this point across;-)

The second question is always "But what about school?" and that one is a lot more reasonable. School is a problem, and living here almost certainly means private school. There are some good elementary schools, and some charter schools as well, but Boston has an absolutely absurd method of allocating seats in its schools (it's a long story....there were riots) that makes it an almost unworkable solution in many cases. Most reasonable best-case would be private school through sixth grade and then hope they can get into Boston Latin School. Or shell out the much larger dollars for private high school. Or, finally make the dreaded move to the 'burbs:-)

But we're willing to live with that. I'm not sure that The Boy is as adamantly opposed to leaving the city as I am, but he isn't in any kind of hurry, either. And he has a little more complete experience to speak from than I do...

Am I irrational? Of course I am...there are towns that would cost less to live in, and be quieter and safer and more kid-friendly, and where the girls would go to the same excellent schools with the same group of kids from ages 5-18. And they would play soccer and little league with those same kids. But I also feel like they'd be missing out on a lot. There is a lot to be said for raising your kids in a sheltered place with a lot of people just like them.

But, there is also a lot to be said for raising hip city kids, too.  Kids who may go to school in a bubble, but learn to make friends and build relationships with people from all kinds of places literal and figurative. Kids who simply can't ignore the world around them with all of its wonders and, yes, all of its tragedy.

Which usually leads to a thought that I keep to myself. "Don't you worry about raising your kids in a city environment?"

You know, as if I haven't done this before:-)

1 comment:

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I went to elementary school and started middle school in one of those urban, less-than-desirable, not-on-any-top-lists kind of towns before my parents moved to Wellesley. I will tell you that the kids I went to school with in St. Louis lead way more interesting lives than the kids I went to school with in Wellesley (or so Facebook likes to tell me). Seriously, the early years in school are easily supplemented outside of school. You have quite some time before you really have to worry about the best schools or the best education or the price your family will pay to move to a town that provides that sort of stuff.