Horrors: I Kind of Like the Suburbs
I have written extensively on why living in the city with kids is the best. And as the author of City Baby, I have always believed in practicing what I preach and raising my kids here. I am wholeheartedly happy that I have. Excellent schools, tons of culture, interesting and diverse people, blah, blah, blah. I can rattle off a million more reasons why raising kids here is the greatest, but I forgot until recently why raising kids in the suburbs is pretty darn good too.
I had the occasion to visit a good friend in Charlotte, NC and my brother in Asheville, NC last week. The trip was fabulous. I went sans kids or husband and had a great time catching up with my friends and family. I didn't expect, however, to be so smitten with the suburban lifestyle that my friend and brother led. The weather was gorgeous and the kids played outside all day and night. My friend's kids had a lemonade stand on the corner and all the kids in the neighborhood rode their bikes there. After they tired of that, they rode scooters around the neighborhood until it was nearly 7:00pm.
In Asheville, my nephew's friends rode their bicycles over and played outside in the yard together, while my niece and I used colored chalk to draw rainbows on the walkway to their house. Later on in the heat of the day, my brother turned on the sprinklers and the kids put on their bathing suits and ran through. To cap off a wonderful day, my sister-in-law and I took a stroll after dinner together around the neighborhood and I was in heaven.
The bike riding, sprinklers and sidewalk chalk brought me back to my own childhood in the suburbs outside of New York City. I loved growing up in the suburbs and always thought I'd raise my kids there until I lived in New York City post-college and neither my husband nor I wanted to leave. We decided that we didn't want to commute and that if we found the right schools for our kids we would stay.Continued on the next page