Suburban Snapshots

To Be Honest, I Never
Liked Public Transit

Monday, May 28, 2012

When I first moved to our little town from the city, a friend of mine commented that I was "going suburban." It felt like a dig though I don't think she meant it that way. But I was worried about losing my city sensibilities, becoming lame like I imagined adults were during my Long Island youth.

It didn't help that when we moved to our development we were in the minority of residents under retirement age. We didn't have friends like we had in Boston and made social trips to my sister's on weekends. For a few years it was lonely and I resented Steve for having wanted to move in the first place.

But since Anna's been in preschool our whole community has opened up to us. Neighbors who were acquaintances now don't bother knocking, other moms I'd pass at drop-off come for lunch or dinner or long walks around the block. We hear about the happenings at Anna's future kindergarten from a friend on the PTA board, Anna's learning to ride a two-wheeler on the pink bicycle our mayor's daughter gave her, neighborhood kids wave excitedly when they spot Steve riding the trash truck, and you don't even want to know how many stories I get from Steve since he's been working for the city — he needs his own blog.

At the Saturday farmers' market before she's even finished her smoothie, Anna will spot classmates and a couple kids from the neighborhood. There are always friends at the playground and I finally feel grounded enough to start conversations with parents I've only met in the hurried morning passing over hand-offs and backpacks.

Some of the aspects of suburban life I so dreaded have definitely crept in — I probably go to too many drive-thrus and I definitely spend too much time and money at Target. But what we've gained helps temper what I miss about our last life. In our condo we knew our immediate neighbors only as "Stomping Russian Guy" and "Nice Girl Whose Dog Died." Now we're here and we're settled, we know people, we can rely on our neighbors, we feel a part of this place (and actually watch town meetings on local access TV  — Lameville, population: 2).

We've gone suburban from my practical station wagon to our shed full of yard equipment. We're happy, Anna is thriving, and the city is just a visit away. I can live with that.

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