I'm a city girl. I was born in Toronto and have lived within a 2.5 mile radius my entire life. As a young child I dreamed about living in the country. More specifically, I wanted to live on a farm in the country breathing fresh country air and riding my own horse everyday after school. But by the time I was a teenager I couldn't imagine living outside the city though. That only amplified when I was in my twenties. And though I still love all the city has to offer, I can see advantages to suburban living.
So, even though it's nearly 300 miles away, I feel like our kids are fortunate to have a second home in what I joke is the country but Jen adamantly argues is the suburbs. Jen's parents still live in her childhood home and several times a year we're able to go back there and visit. Extended visits, like the one we had last week, are particularly nice.
As soon as the kids wake up they're begging to go outside. We try to distract them indoors until the sun has warmed up the air a little bit and the grass isn't quite so wet with dew.
They're happy to play in the yard, but the country-loving girl in me always tries to encourage them to walk down to the nearby park to visit the pond and "forest." The promise of being able to feed the geese and ducks the heels of our bread usually gets the sometimes obstinate toddler to comply with my requests. Once the crusts have all been gobbled up or dissolved into the water we make our way through the woods on the far side of the pond. The Bean likes picking up pine cones along the way. Sprout still gets carried most of the time to speed things along but also so that she doesn't trip over roots or get poked by the twigs on low branches.
I sometimes imagine how different their lives would be if they had this open access to the outdoors all the time. I think they would love it. But then we drive to WalMart and I see man + woman = marriage bumper stickers and people dressed in head-to-toe camo and I know that someplace like this wouldn't be the best home for us. We need the acceptance/indifference of other city-dwelling folks. The balance we have of a home in the city and a home-away-from-home in the country seems to be a pretty good one for our family.
I'm curious to know where other people live and how you decided on settling there. Feel free to comment, if you're so inclined.