Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Small Town Living

I have been feeling very reflective lately. I think it might be end of pregnancy hormones, but either way, I've been doing a lot of THINKING about how I feel, and about the changes that are in store for us, and about how happy I am with my little family of (soon to be) four.

One of the things that has been on my mind lately is how happy I am to be raising my children in the same small town that I grew up in. I know we might not stay here forever, depending on my husband's job and where we can buy a house, but it's a place that is so dear to my heart, and a part of me hopes we'll never have to leave.

I gave birth to Stephanie (and will give birth to Joseph) at the same hospital that both of my sisters and I were born in. When I take my daughter to visit my parents, she is playing in the house that my mom and her siblings grew up in. When I go to the store, or out to eat, or for a walk around town, I almost always run into someone I know. If I don't know them personally, they know or recognize me. This history, this sense of belonging, gives me a warm feeling in my heart and is something I value and cherish.

This then makes me think of the history that my new nuclear family is creating. We live in our own separate little community where everyone knows us. So many people recognize me as Dan's wife, even if I don't know them. When we walk outside our apartment, there are people who greet us by name, or just smile and wave. Stephanie stands at our sliding glass window and waves hello to everyone that passes by. It gives me a true sense of belonging and of community. Being connected to so many people creates a network of supporters, and it's such a good feeling to know that there are people around who we can call upon if we need something.

I love how my past and my present have come together, and how we are building a strong foundation of belonging for our children. They have roots in the same place that I, my parents, and my grandparents grew up. We have a long history here, and I'm proud that Dan and I have added to that history. And even though Dan is a transplant here, (he grew up in New York), he feels the sense of belonging, and has fostered a deep connection with our community. I am a huge fan of small-town living, and I know that, even if we eventually move away, this town and all of the experiences we have lived through here, will stay with us forever.

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