Raise Your Kid in the Country (They’ll Thank You Later)

It happens every time. There I am, traipsing through Manhattan, the sickly sweet scent of roasted chestnuts assaulting my nose, the pollution-clogged air making my country-fied eyes water. And I wonder, why the heck did I ever leave this place?

Why am I not raising a child in the heart of the action, where there’s a cultural delight around every corner, and her palette could be stretched by introduction to a different type of cuisine every day of the week?

I mope.

I moan.

And then I come home. And I remember.

As I said, it happens every time. I should be used to this by now. And yet, the sadness of my days in the city are so elusive when I’m caught up in that fast pace of city life. I walk faster. I talk faster. I come alive.

And then I come home where I calm down. And I remember:

Bald eagles.

A backyard with trees for climbing, where a kid can spend hours, literally, hours, without a helicopter parent hovering above, always watching, never allowing the fun to happen.
Squirrels who steer clear of human beings because they have nuts to find — they don’t need to beg for no stinkin’ cupcake in the park.

Grocery store clerks who know your kid by name, and your mother, your father, and your brother too.

Walking barefoot in the grass.

Leaving car doors unlocked.

Driving.

Fresh air.

Adventure.

Peace and quiet.

It’s a list I’d carry with me if I didn’t think it would ruin the fun of the moment. Sometimes it’s nice to forget.

But it’s even nicer to remember.

What’s your favorite part of country life?

 

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