Growing Up in Suburbia

The hubby and I took Amelia for a walk on a newly paved greenway yesterday evening after a nice dinner out. Big sister Caitlin is off having a weekend retreat with our parents, which inevitably leads us to the conclusion that one child is a lot easier than two, but I digress. As we walked along the wooded path we came to a circular overlook which offered a nice view of the river below. “This would be such a great place to sneak off and drink beer if you were a teenager,” I said with a snicker. Now that I’m a 30-something mom of two, I suddenly revel in the idea of teens gone wild in our sleepy suburban town. If I see an abandoned empty six-pack of beer and a pack of Marlboro Lights by the park on a Saturday morning I automatically think, “Teens Gone Wild!” Ditto on graffiti. And I won’t go into the obvious, more disgusting telltale evidence we once found by a girl’s abandoned YMCA ID card by the Natchez Trace. At least they were practicing safe sex.

The hubby and I grew up in the same rural county. He lived in “town” and I grew up eight miles from town on a curvy rural road that I maneuvered like a bat out of hell on many a weekend night in my Chrysler Laser. Parties and parking, two clandestine staples of the high school pack…unless you were headed for a nunnery or life as a monk, neither of which are real popular here in the South…for the most part took place in farm fields. After all, cows don’t gossip.

If we stay in the suburbs, I wonder how it will affect our girls. Will they become mall rats, instant messaging their girlfriends and planning their weekends around the best sales? Or if we move out of suburbia, will they learn to be more creative like we were and forced to party under the stars under the watchful eye of a herd of cattle? Which, in retrospect, doesn’t sound half bad.


  1. Library Mama says:

    I, too, grew up eight miles from the nearest town.

    You’re right, cows don’t gossip, but, unfortunately, fields sometimes harbour hidden muddy spots that are mighty hard to get out of once you’re stuck.

    Rather than walk to the nearest farm to ask for help, we handled it ourselves, sadly making me an hour and a half late for curfew. We were much more careful about our sparkin’ spots from then on!

  2. mothergoosemouse says:

    Interesting. I grew up in suburbia, but did my incognito partying in what passed for downtown Dayton OH. I guess the moral of this story is that you can be incognito anywhere but the suburbs.

  3. Blonde Mom says:


    You can be incognito in the suburbs, just don’t leave your YMCA ID photo card with the evidence. 😉

  4. mamatulip says:

    My cousin grew up in a really rural area and I always thought it was kind of cool that she was so set back from the hustle and bustle of the ‘city life’. Her house was so peaceful and quiet and you could go to bed with the doors unlocked.

    Then again, it took fifteen minutes by car to go get a freezie.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I was a base brat, so I had a mix of town and rural living.

    Basically, the now husband and I were pretty creative in finding places to have a little quiet time. Ahem.

    We are living in a rural area now, and the kids all get into shit. The local grad party (there were 12 kids in the grad class) stole two cars, and went car bashing with them. That was after they graffitied the main drag.

  6. Renee says:

    I grew up in the country and my Saturday nights were spending cruising around our local Sonic. P-A-R-T-Y!

  7. Kris says:

    I grew up in suburbia and can tell you that kids will find whatever patch of woods or hidden area exists and use it to full advantage. Around here it was a patch of woods by the reservoir. Also, there is always those kids whose parents aren’t around so much, so their house becomes everyone’s house.

    I still like the idea of raising my kids in a rural area though. We are so close to Boston, my urge lately is to just get out.

  8. Pattie (Domesticator) says:

    I wonder if it really matters. I am sure no matter where children grow up, they will find their own version of fun and mischief! 🙂

    Of course, I grew up in the suburbs, so maybe I am biased.

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