"Mom, what town are we closer to? Yates City or Farmington?"
This is a question that I get roughly four times a week, as we travel from our house to our various activities in town.
My answer is always lengthy, and maybe the kids are tuning me out, and that's why I get the question a lot, but it includes an explanation of where our mail comes from, where our school is, etc. Then, continues on about how even though Grandpa and Uncle Jeff lived in this house, they claim to be from one town, and we say we're from another...
Summer is a time that I truly feel as if I am living a dual life...one of country and one of town. I wake up in the early morning to drive to meet my running partner in one town. We head to yet another town for softball practice, another town for library time, back to the first town for church, and yet another town for the community pool. Anna does cheers in the dugout for her softball team about Farmington, and she cheers along, without a lot of hesitation. However, as I sit in the bleachers with the other purple-clad parents, I feel out of place. All these folks are either all born and bred in the town in which they reside, or live in town, in neighborhoods where they are able to waltz out and enjoy their neighbors and get to know them better than at a random ball game here and there.
Josie's best friend lives in a neighboring town, a mere five miles from our house, and will go to a different school...thus devastating Josie to no end. We've had conversations about how she'll see her bud a lot, thanks to tumbling in one town and dance in another (and the fact that our families are good friends...so it's not like we'll part ways and be done), but my kids are starting to feel the dual citizenship now and again.
While we love our country livin', and enjoy the privacy, the surroundings and all that, once in a while, it would be good for my kids to walk out, like they do at Grandma's, and immediately be surrounded by kids their age, able to ride bikes to each other's houses and to school. I did that, and part of me craves it for my kids.
However, there's always the Utopian view of country life, and that is the lovely family we farm near. They are the types that have a crazy huge garden, and get together (all generations) to put up sweet corn and can tomatoes and sell their wares on a road side stand. Talk about the Waltons! We aren't that either...
So who the heck am I? What's our family picture? Town country folk or full fledged country livers?
I don't know, but I do know that Joe and I are trying to blend the best of both worlds, thanks to our truly different upbringings. He's used to the working, the solitary-ness, and the quiet of the country, while I crave runs to the pool, walks on sidewalks after dinner and neighbors.
Our kids are fortunate to be able to enjoy a bit of both, but will continue to get a lengthy answer about where they're from, thanks to the fact that I'm still trying to figure that out.