I’ve thought about this for a while.
Actually, I probably think about this most days.
On the way to school.
On the way to the barn.
On the way to soccer practice.
On the way to the grocery.
On the way to Starbucks. Actually I’m kind of on a Caribou kick right now. Just the fact that I wrote that makes me question this even more.
Are we too comfortable?
I’m not talking anything about finances. That’s another story. And let’s face it, raising four kids is straining no matter how you cut it.
I’m talking about the suburban bubble.
Our kids get up and ready every morning, dressed in their uniforms adorning a monogram of an academically rigorous charter school. No, it’s not private school. But it might as well be. We switched from our “regular” public school after Caroline finished kindie. The phone rang the Thursday before school started on a Monday and they had a spot open in a 1st grade classroom for Caroline. We had 24 hours to decide whether to take it. Honestly, I forgot that I had put Caroline on the lottery list for NSA the previous year. Probably because we were #248 in line. But apparently the lottery list is for two years. So we took it. Part of the reason? I wasn’t a huge fan of Caroline’s kindie teacher. But was this a good reason? I mean, I had some not-so-great teachers growing up and I survived. Also? We had several good friends that went to school there and I felt kind of left out. There. I said it. I wanted my kids to go too. Now, I knew NSA had a great academic curriculum and a character education component that I was interested in, but I really just felt lucky that our number 248 had been called and I felt obligated to take it.
We live 7 minutes from school. Everyone in our neck of the woods was upset yesterday because there was a car accident that closed down the main street to the school. The perfectly coiffed kids dressed in navy, yellow and white were late for school. Gasp. We had to wait at the dentist office, which is right beside the school, for an extra 20 minutes because the dentist was stuck in the traffic too.
The barn the girls ride at is a whopping 3 minutes from our house. Literally right down the hill. We could sled there in the winter if we wanted to. I adore our trainer, Karen, and obviously trust her completely with my kids. And I know that if our girls start bickering over bridles she’s going to throw the gauntlet. Other than the whole riding-a-1,200-pound-animal-and-jumping-over-fences thing, it is a safe place for them.
Our grocery store is about 5 minutes away. And they carry Boar’s Head Deli Meats. Did I really just say that? Why, yes, I did. That’s what I’m talking about.
I think a big component of what I’m circling around is accessibility.
We have access to A LOT within about a 10 minute radius.
And while part of me loves the ease and comfort, I wonder if it is too comfortable.
I don’t think life is ever particularly easy for anyone. There is heartache. There is also disappointment. There are always challenges.
But compared to a lot of people, the suburban bubble can be a pretty comfortable place.
How do we communicate with our kids, born in an award-winning hospital 10 minutes down the road with a mom and baby wing rivaling a hotel, that they are so incredibly lucky?
Are they lucky?
I think some people break out in hives coming out here to the ‘burbs.
Are we setting our kids up for failure with this all-encompassing suburban bubble?
Sometimes I lose my breath because I am so scared the answer is yes.