Our first home was in the city, we lived in a great close-knit neighborhood with great friends. Our group of friends/neighbors were a total cross section of "normal" middle (to upper) class America- a dr., an attorney, a banker, an IT tech, a fireman , and a policeman- seriously- does it get more Mayberry than that?
Most every place we went was within walking distance: schools, playdates, library, a deli, and several restaurants. In our group, the wives ultimately gave up their careers to be the ever underestimated and underappreciated stay at home moms- myself included. We could count on each other. We had such similar lives and experiences. We all had kids the same ages that ran through the front yards, rode bikes, ran through sprinklers and had the time of their lives. Sipping on our iced teas during the day and glasses of wine at night we would talk about anything and everything that crossed our minds- pausing every 10 minutes or so to gather the troops and make sure all the kids were accounted for.
Although it was the best neighborhood you could find and safe by most standards, it was in a city of relatively high crime. We fell victim to 3 car thefts and got caught in the middle of another car theft with a shooting. After the first car was stolen, we swallowed it up as bad luck and used "the club". The latter crimes didn't settle too well with us and we started discussing the pros and cons of fleeing our city nest for the burbs.
I remember having the conversation with my mom about whether we should leave or not. One of my reasons to stay was the great friendships we had made. My mom, in her infinite wisdom, pleaded me to not make the decision because of my neighbors, noting that they may just be friends of circumstance and they would eventually move on, as well. She felt the closeness we had stumbled upon and created was such a rare treasure, but not to think it would last forever. I recall the argument that followed her implication that they weren't true friends and that we may have just had commonalities at that point in our lives. I defended them- I was certain that our friendships would sustain distance if it came to that.
My husband and I eventually decided to be a part of the urban sprawl and head out to the suburbs. The decision was a much contemplated and difficult one. What were we losing? What could we gain? In the end, it came down to safety for our kids.
We were diligent in our house hunt. We wanted the perfect house, yard, neighborhood, community, schools and all of this at the perfect price- I know, tall order, right? We came upon a home in a quaint and peaceful neighborhood with a lake and walking paths. The house had a huge yard and was in great shape and unique inside. It was in the same area as my sister and mom and in a good school district. The homeowner was in the military and getting married and needed to sell fast- pricing it well below its appraised market value. It seemed perfect so we jumped and bought it.
Fast forward three years- the house is still great, the yard is still huge, the neighborhood is safe. The children are in a fine school and are happy. We always hear that children are resilient-this is no exception. They have adjusted to the new life perfectly well.
I , on the other hand, not so much. Coming up on three years now, I still hear myself saying, "we just moved here!" I have not acclimated to the new way of living, the people, or the driving. On a selfish note, there are no stay at home moms anymore for me to confide in, complain to or connect with. Most of the moms I have met are working moms, which is great if it works for you- sometimes I wish it did for us, but it doesn't.
As far my old friends from the city, they have all moved on to bigger and better things, too. We really don't keep in touch much at all (God, I hate it when my mom is right!) I do have my sister and she is my saving grace! Sometimes, though, I feel like I ride her coat tails.
I long for my own set of friends that I can be comfortable with again. I long for other women that I just click with and have things in common with again. I long for that feeling of community again. I long for feeling like I'm home again!
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