Recently, more than once, I have made comments to my husband about how we are raising "city boys" and how we are "country folk." Not necessarily quite that way, but that's the gist of the sentiment.
We were raised, my husband and I, in a very rural area. My hometown is less than 1,000 people.
Granted, we don't live in a metropolis, but right now, we are living in the biggest city in our state. Population-wise, it's a city.
There usually isn't more to my sentiments than that, just mere competitive observation.
Tonight, watching "Cars" with Spencer, the song "Our Town" by James Taylor (I believe) struck me and got me all misty-eyed.
Jake often sings "Small Town" by John (Cougar) Mellencamp when he plays guitar. The lyrics there ring true on some levels. They usually get me reminiscing and thinking about their application to my own life.
Anyway, tonight, as I listened to the words of "Our Town," I began longing for rural life.
It's kind off surprising to me, actually.
I love living in a city for many reasons. Access to education, entertainment, organizations, medical care, shopping, etc.
There are things I don't love, also. Traffic. Noise. Crowding. Clutter. Crime rates.
Recently, I feel like there have been many news stories involving vandalism, accidents, homicides, assault, etc. I don't know if it is more than usual or that I'm just more aware. A few weeks ago, I asked Jake to start locking the door when he leaves in the morning so I would feel safer about is being here without him.
Growing up in a tiny town was a pain at times. Boredom? Yup, suffered from it. But, at the same time, my friends and I were able to find entertainment in such simple things. Two if my closest friends and I, Michelle and Clayton, made a rubber band chain that stretched for almost two city blocks. We were impressed.
Living in a small town was great for friendships. Yeah, less kids, but the friends you made lived close. Each of my closest friends in elementary school through junior high (when we consolidated school districts and made friends in neighboring towns) lived within a matter of blocks from me. You could walk to their house in the winter and generally not freeze your tail off. Heck, when we moved "into town" from the farm I had been living on, my best friend ended up being the girl right next door. When we moved a few blocks away, I had a friend living across the alley, one house over.
Now, living in a city, my friends aren't close. My kids' friends aren't close. Maybe they will be some day, but it's not all that likely. If I want my kids to have a play date, people have to pack up and drive fifteen to twenty minutes. Playing with friends takes actual planning.
It feels very foreign, sometimes.
I was able to play in the middle of the street at all hours of the day. I lived on one of the busiest streets in town. When we visit my parents, I have to consciously prohibit Spencer from playing in the street I know it's really unlikely that anything would happen there. Even as little as he is. But I would NEVER want him to get the idea that its ever okay to play in the streets in the city we live in. No way.
In tiny town, walking around at night was no big deal. Here, I try to avoid it and will want my kids to do the same.
But, in my small town, the grocery store isn't open on Sunday afternoons. Nothing is open in the middle of the night (except the bar, and that closes at one I think). When Collin developed a horrid ear infection, it was TORTURE to everyone because at seven that night when it got bad, the store was closed and we had to wait until 8 the next morning to buy pain killers. The closest "urgent care" was half an hour or so away.
When it's all said and done, I love both. I dislike both. There's no "right" location, I guess.
I'm fortunate that my family and some if Jake's live in rural areas, so my sons will occasionally experience a taste if our childhoods. I will always long for some of the experiences I had and wish them for my boys, but I also know there are experiences I wished I had as a child that they will have living here.
That said, it still is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I was a country girl, and my babies are city boys.
So be it.
The photos below are all mine. Enjoy. Don't steal.