I still haven’t decided if the suburbs make me happy or not. I can drink coffee on my front porch. But there are no people walking by. Dirty dishes and socks no longer oppress me. But it takes longer to vacuum the house. There are seventeen other children on our block. But the mothers never leave their houses.
Some good. Some bad.
For the kids, though, moving to the suburbs was an unqualified success.
Jonah loves school. When the bus drops him off at 3:30, we walk down the block together and chat about the day. I force the boys into the kitchen for snack time. Their bikes will still be there when we’re done.
While the kids munch on apples that we picked at Davies farm on Monday, I open up Jonah’s blue folder. His teacher has stuffed it with his work from the day. He matched the lower case n with the upper case N. He drew a picture of us picking apples. He circled the big squares and xed the small ones. Easy stuff, but Jonah likes getting everything all right.
In the city, soccer class required a forty minute subway ride to central park and a bucket of cash. On Saturday morning, Steve walks Jonah to his soccer practice at the middle school field. Jonah is the star of his team. He scored a goal last week, and the coach told Steve that Jonah was very talented. Of course, Steve also over heard the coach describe Jonah as a lunatic because he was fearlessly charging boys twice his size. My boy, the lunatic. We’re so proud.
After hours of work dealing with the state bureaucracy (a post in the future), Ian has been set up with speech therapy. The therapist came to our house last week and showed him some new tricks. She sternly told me to throw away his sippy cups because they have been linked to speech delay.
I also made a dozen calls to find a nursery school program for Ian. He’s ready for a little finger painting and circle time. In the city, we had only two options for nursery school. One was $8,000 for part time; $15,000 for full time. The other was $5,000 for a mediocre program. The teachers were mean, the space was small, and there were 18 kids in the classroom. We had to send Jonah to the bad place.
Here, there are a dozen nursery school options. I observed a great program for two years olds this morning with 9 kids and parental involvement. We’re signing up immediately. Next year, there’s a Montessori part time program that only costs $3,000. All have large spaces and young teachers.
And then there’s our block – 17 kids and most of them are under 6. There are quadruplets and two sets of twins. When the bus driver unloads them with a sigh of relief, the kids tear down the block over everyone’s lawns shouting Let’s meet after snack time. When it’s time for dinner, I just yell out the window for Jonah to get back in, while Ian chases the cat.
Sure it’s crazy. The quadruplets have already knocked down our fence, and Ian likes to ring the neighbor’s bell. But if they’re happy, I’m happy. Jonah’s bad nursery school drove me to distraction. After I finish filling out this paperwork for Ian’s schools, I can stop worrying about the boys and concentrate on myself. When he’s at nursery school, maybe I can finish those articles. Maybe the suburbs are going to work out for me, too.