Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chronicles of an urban family

A recent Town and Country has a great article on a mom raising her family in NYC (vs. most of her friends who head to the suburbs when the bump comes).  The article had me nodding almost throughout.  San Francisco doesn't seem like the perfect kid place on the surface, but when you get by the fact that there aren't countless SUV driving soccer moms roaming the city, we've got a lot - and it's not just one big cement playground.

We don't have to drive to "live" - we can walk out the front door and head to the park in Washington Square, Fisherman's Warf, a handful of museums, the aquarium by the Bay, or just walk and look at the sites.  While we don't have a huge front yard, or our own back yard (but we do have a cool shared yard), we have countless parks to explore where they boys can run as far as they want.  San Francisco has fields strewn around the city where on any warm day you'll see families with picnics blankets set up, 20 and 30 somethings sunbathing, and wizened ones reading or playing chess.

Our community is neighbors, friends from parent groups, and even shop keeps - the drycleaners over the hill always give me a discount after asking how the boys are, the market on the corner is filled with smiling people who always wave at the boys and occasionally throw extra fruit into my shopping bag "for the boys," the wine bar down the street always moves the tables for our double stroller to fit and then plays with the boys while we decide what cheeses we want on the cheese plate. Today we were walking the boys during the witching hour (the time between feed #3 and bedtime) and I heard a voice say "so, what'cha got?" Kind of an odd question, but I turned and it was parents our age asking about the boys - "twin boys," I replied.  We wound up talking for about 45-minutes about life, living in SF, working with kids, and the land they recently bought in Nicaragua (they don't want to leave the city either, but they do want a place to escape - living the dream).

Maybe someday we'll head to the burbs.  For now, I think we'll stick with our urban playground.

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