Monday, August 31, 2009

The Home Team

On Friday night, we went to the first home football game of the season at our local high school, a short walk from our house. B and A had come home from school that day asking if we could go. Apparently, it was the talk of the elementary school during recess. So, we said sure and headed over.

We moved to this town about 3 years ago, when they were in preschool. For those years, your friends are still your friends (not the parents of theirs). Now, with our schedules being what they are, we hang out with our neighbors and families of B and A’s friends primarily. This seems to be a natural progression for most families.

I couldn’t believe how many families and kids we knew once we got to the football field. It was so fun for B and A to be able to walk around saying hi to everyone. They knew one of the cheerleaders; she is our neighbor from two houses down. A loved watching the girls perform. Some of the players were older siblings in families we’ve gotten to know. B got a kick out of that.

We took a seat and formed our own 2nd grade section with 2 rows of kids cheering and clapping wildly for their local team. The kids had a blast and the parents chatted about the start of the new school year. It all felt very small town, very community oriented. It was nice.

This surprised me a little. Why? Well, T and I have moved so many times since we first married. There have been 12 different places in 14 years that we have called home before moving into our current address. Is it no surprise that I never feel quite settled into anything? This house is the longest we have ever lived anywhere.

One of those included a move to New York City when B and A were only a year old. It was a time that I cherish and love. It was one of the most exciting and enjoyable times of my life. When we returned to this area, T and I had a very difficult time selecting a suburb in which to live. For various reasons, we ruled out living in the city here and decided to look at the suburbs. We even rented a house for a year while house hunting each and every one of those suburbs. You have to understand that we both grew up in this area and were already very familiar with most of them. That fact did not seem to aid us in our search. Nothing seemed to feel just right. So, with trepidation, we selected the area that we live in now; a nice suburb with pretty homes, good schools and a community focus that we appreciated.

Over these last 3 years, I cannot tell you how many times we’ve second-guessed our decision. We are very far out from the city that T works in each day; a city that we both adore. But, we moved forward with putting down roots. And now, on a night like Friday night, I realize that is just what we have done. We’ve given our kids a community to call home. A place where the parents look out for one another’s children. A place where they can always find a friend to say hi. Whether T and I are ready to call this place home or not, to our children, it clearly is just that.

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