Recently, Jess posted philosophical about her tiny little town. She inspired me to do the same.
John and I moved our brood to this small town three and a half years ago. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea, but eventually I got used to it and learned a few things in the process. Though I have to say learning about small animals, tapping maple trees and how to get a four-wheeler out of the muck around the pond don't come close to the things I've learned about small town life.
I grew up "in the city". My kids are fascinated that I took the city bus to a school that was amoung skyscrapers. (Okay, so the taller buildings in Ottawa aren't necessarily skyscrapers, but they're the tallest my kids have seen!) We didn't know our neighbours very well and often got lost in the hustle and bustle around us. While there was never shortage of anything to do, I didn't feel particularly moved to stick around when it came time to head off to university.
Things in this small town have proven to be drastically different. I've never felt so drawn to a community of people in my life. Suddenly, I'm engaging with my neighbours, volunteering like crazy and saying things like "I will never leave here and I hope my kids raise their kids here." I'm thinking of grandchildren, people!
I've managed to surround myself with a close group of friends that has moved beyond simply having kids in common. We work together, play sports together and drink together. As a teen I read novel after novel and watched TV show after TV show about close-knit families and those who lived around them. They came together to eat, drink and be merry as children spread out around them. I can't tell you how many barbecues, hoedowns and skating parties I've been to that have been exactly like that.
My job affords me a great luxury as well. I work at the post office so everyone knows where to find me. It's not uncommon for me to say "Just bring it to me at work!" or put little smiley faces on their gas bill. Not only that, but I'm getting to know so many more of the citizens of this town. I get to see people at their best, which is the day to day. Babies are born, couples get married and people pass on. It's entirely engrossing and beautifully moving all at once.
All this to say that this is just the beginning for us. I'm envious of anyone who has grown up in a town like this and come back to raise their children. I can't see us anywhere but here for a long time!