I left “the city” 23 years ago, kicking and screaming, to settle in the land of white picket fences and minivans. It was my husband’s idea to trade culture, diversity, and excitement for blandness, boredom, and home repairs (he actually viewed it as trading grit and grime for fresh air and bike rides, but I digress). “Our children will be so much more sophisticated and worldly if we stay in the city,” I cried. Ultimately, I have absolutely no regrets about raising our children in suburbia. There is plenty of time for kids to become savvy and sophisticated in their own due time, and affording them a real childhood of backyard swing sets, playing kickball on the cul-de-sac with the rest of the neighborhood kids, and trick or treating until they could no longer lug their candy sack, was well worth the sacrifice. I, too, have made wonderful friends and have become part of a very tight knit and caring community.
The kids are gone now – off to college – and it’s time to move on to the next phase of our life as well, which means selling our house and moving back to the city. Mostly I crave the action of the city, the ability to do anything/go anywhere at any time of the day or night. Blizzards will never keep me trapped indoors again, as I will be able to bundle up and walk around the corner to the neighborhood deli or movie theater, which will invariably be open. No more of those pesky lawns and trees that demand constant attention, no more birds chirping and crickets waking me at an ungodly hour, and no more rolodex full of repairmen that are a constant drain on my patience and checkbook. Hello to sidewalks, sirens, and supers!
We are going to sell our “house”, and not our “home”. As the adage goes, “Home is where the heart is.” I keep repeating this mantra for my kids, as they become increasingly convinced that they will return from fall semester to find we’ve gone and left no forwarding address. I assure them that wherever we are, as long as we are together, we will be “home”.