Stranded in suburbia

Filed under: Just For Moms, Big Kids, Just For Dads

When I was raising Christy, I was a single mom making very little money. We lived in a variety of homes - apartments, condos and houses, all rented in what some might consider undesirable neighborhoods. I tried to stay put for her sake, but whenever a better job with more money provided the opportunity to live in a nicer area, we moved. But for all our moving up, we never moved out to suburbia. That was mostly due to economics, but also partly due to the fact the I enjoyed living in the melting pot of a big city. During those years, our neighbors were a random sampling of what the world has to offer when it comes to human beings - young, old, married, single, gay, straight, black, white and every color in between.

About three years ago, I moved into a brand-spanking-new suburban development with Ellie and my husband. With very few exceptions, every house in my neighborhood is home to a mom, dad and a couple of kids. We chose to live here for that very reason - what better place to raise a family than in a place where everyone else is raising a family? I have nice, quiet neighbors and Ellie enjoys having friends living within walking distance. It's a safe, family centered atmosphere that is just about to bore me to death.

I miss my colorful neighbors coming together with our mismatched lives. The couple across the street who didn't speak English, but never failed to invite me to their barbecues. The elderly widow next door who came up with a thousand things she needed help with when she really just needed some company. Even that odd middle-aged guy still living with his mother added his own dash of color to the block.

Don't get me wrong - I feel fortunate to be able to provide Ellie with such a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood. But I often feel like I am living on a movie set. And I wonder if Ellie isn't missing out on something important. Like the real world.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.