I’ve done a lot of bitching and moaning about our new post. It’s no secret that this post is not where I would have picked to live. I’m feeling pretty isolated and it affects the way I look at everything and how I talk about where we live. But we always tell our kids that “a good attitude makes a good day” and it’s high time I take that advice myself.
Living here isn’t all downsides. In fact, my kids adore it here. They couldn’t be happier and that makes it easier for me. School is going really well and my fears about a rough transition from homeschool to public school turned out to be unfounded. Whew.
The other great thing for them (and, by extension, for me) is our neighborhood. We waited a little longer for a house here on post because we wanted to live in this neighborhood and it was absolutely worth the extra time as a family of 6 in a hotel. We have a playground literally right outside our front door and the street is full of other elementary school kids. The boys are constantly outside playing with neighbors. They run around the playground, they wander from yard to yard. And I can see them from my front porch or front window the whole time. It’s fantastic.
I grew up on a street sort of like this- we were just missing the playground. There were a pack of us that were all more-or-less the same age. We’d play outside for hours and hours- making up games, going from yard to yard, playing sports. I am still in touch with most of them (Facebook friends, at the very least) and one is still one of my best friends (Hi, Liz!). I consider it a gift from my parents. It was a sacrifice for them and I know that not everyone is lucky enough to live on a safe street in a safe neighborhood that’s full of other kids. But we were able to be both active and use our imaginations, all the time. Without anyone having to shuttle us to a class where a teacher taught us how to do it.
We don’t get to pick where we live. I know I won’t be able to give my kids the same thing I had, living on the same street for over a decade and growing up with the same kids by my side for all that time. There’s a lot more upheaval and uncertainty for my kids because of my husband’s career in the Army. So while I wouldn’t have chosen this post and will probably be happy (for myself) whenever we get to leave it, I am thrilled that my kids get to have a little bit of my own childhood experiences neighborhood experiences… even if it’s just for a little while. I hope they’ll look back at this time in their lives with fondness, remembering being able to run free and play. It’s not that they’re on their own, but it feels like that to them. And that’s powerful for kids, allowing them to take ownership of their games and imaginations. I feel really lucky that we’re all getting to experience it together!
And while we’re here, I’ll keep trying to remind myself to have a good attitude and to look at the bright side- like the boys running around playing with the neighborhood pack.