A few months after the kids were born, we were living on the outskirts of Boston and were quickly outgrowing our condo. Because it seemed liked the right thing to do once we had kids, we decided to move to the suburbs.
It was a lovely experience. We had a beach pass, we were close to the Cape, had a beautiful house, a two-car garage, and a tiny little yard for the kids. See? Lovely.
It drove me a little crazy. It was a great experience, but I knew early on it wasn't for me. The quiet was something I liked to reserve for vacations away from the city. And now I was living in quiet constantly.
My biggest issue was — being a minority parent — not seeing many other minorities around me. Of course I knew that would be the case prior to moving to the suburbs, but I didn't realize how much it would affect me. I realized that I needed my kids to be raised around other races and be exposed to other cultures and lifestyles.
I understand that city life is not for everyone, and I certainly appreciate the many benefits to suburban living. But it was time for us to go. I needed more noise around me.
Also, on occasion we would tell the kids we were going into Boston for the day. Buddy started believing that tall buildings were called bostons. "Hey, look at all the bostons! Wow..." I needed to city-fy that kid.
So, for work and for family and friends, we decided to move to Chicago. It has been one of the best choices we have made as parents.
The twins love it here. We are lucky in that they are fairly adjustable little people. They barely skipped a beat when we packed up all our stuff and drove out here from Boston. They mention ‘the old house' on occasion, but also tell us how much they love ‘our new house.' We walk outside and down the street and they marvel at everything they see:
"Mom, look! There's a the TV on the building!" (an electronic billboard)
"Look Mom, there's a bus!"
"Hey, there's a taxi! Wow...I love it."
Everything is just so exciting for them. Which makes it exciting for us. Because, you know, we're dorky like that.
A few months ago, G and I were discussing our move here. I told him about walking down the street, seeing two men holding hands, and on another day, seeing two women holding hands, and how happy I was that they walked right by me and the kids.
He smiled and said, "Yeah — I'm waiting for that moment when one of the kids notices for the first time and says something embarrassing."
I replied, "Hmm...I'm hoping they are just going to grow up used to seeing men or women holding hands with each other, and think nothing of it. Hopefully it won't ever come up because it won't ever even be weird to them."
G thought about it for a moment and said, "Hmm...interesting. I hope you're right."
I hope I'm right too. That would mean that we did at least one thing right in all of our parenting years.