Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Grass is Always Greener

Every so often, one does have to leave the city and spend the day in suburbia. Inevitably, we end up spending the time contemplating "what would it be like to actually live here?"

So Friday, the AT and I had our playdate in "bucolic college town." We had a lovely day, of course, much of the credit for that goes to our hosts (another mom and toddler). As we pushed our strollers (carefully negotiating the route, previously determined by our hosts, along the paved sections that were stroller-friendly) into "town" to have pizza at the one pizza joint in town, and then to play at the beautifully maintained, creatively furnished tot lot (also the only one in town), I found myself thinking "I could do this. I could do this for the AT." It is "sooo pretty, so calm." Later we pushed our strollers around the bucolic college campus, watching the young students frolic on the grass. Eventually, though, we had to make a potty stop - so we headed to the library. AT was so excited to go to a library. As a resident of a neighborhood graced with only an "Express Library" that is conveniently only open during AT's naptime, I was also excited. A town with a library! I was ready to put the for sale sign up on our house and contact the realtors.

(Long, painful, record scratch!)
The library was CLOSED. Closed so that the town's only librarian could eat her (assuredly well-deserved) lunch. My friend and host also explained that the library is only open in the evenings because it is staffed by volunteers.

So, at least this week, the suburbs hold on my imagination is weakened.

Yesterday and today, the suburb's grip on my mind loosened even more. After church last night, ATD and I headed off to the local playground with AT. On our way there, we passed the playing fields, where he spotted another youngster with a baseball bat and (tennis) ball playing with his mom and dad. The AT made a beeline (at not yet 3, he hasn't yet discovered that not everyone is going to let him join in on their fun and games). Luckily for us, we knew the family and we all had a rousing round of watching the kids try to hit, throw, and catch the ball. Occasionally, the boys ran around the bases backwards, prompting the other dad to dub the game "Israeli" baseball.

I walked to a neighbor's house for a party later Saturday evening.

Sunday, it was back to the baseball field to play more baseball (with a smattering of soccer for good luck). Walking the neighborhood, we met neighbor after neighbor. We debated which of the 5 brunch options in the 'hood had the best grilled cheese for AT. After our nap, we headed across the street to a birthday party for another toddler neighbor - attended by more of our friends, all of whom are involved in the neighborhood, working on various committees and organizations, bent on making life in the city we love not only possible, but worthwhile.

So no bucolic college town for us, at least this month.

1 comment:

E '83 said...

Come to Concord, Massachusetts. Not only are we totally beautiful, but the Concord Free Public Library is outstanding - and open Monday through Thursday 9 AM to 9 PM (with sufficient staff to man the library even during lunch time) as well as Friday 9-6, Staurday 9-5 and Sunday afternoons (Sundays closed in Summer.)
We have quite a number of sidewalks and some lovely parks and playgrounds as well.
Of course... it's not as convenient to The Mothership and no, you cannot get a decent cheesesteak for hundreds of miles...