Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the Metra and other city musings

So we're pretty sure that we don't want to have kids for at least five more years. I have always wanted to enjoy just being married and Adam and I have way too much fun just being "the two of us" to want to give that up right now (yikes, I just used the words "give that up" in reference to having children... see, I'm totally not ready yet).

While it has been an absolute dream come true for me to truly live an urban life in the city (completely carless for more than a year!), when I imagine having a family, I keep thinking back to what I grew up with. Which is a big house, a big yard, lots of swimming pools (that aren't above ground), having a car to tote the childrens in, etc... or in other words, the dreaded suburbia. AHHHHHHH!!! I realize that so much in our lives is going to change in the next five years, friends will get married, have babies and start their own migration to the suburbs. I'm hoping that the idea won't be so completely upsetting by then.

All this has especially been on my mind because last night we rode a Metra train to Naperville to have a farewell dinner with a close friend of ours that's leaving Chicago. We left right around five, also known as the scariest time ever at Union Station. It really hit home for me just how many people ride the train in from the "far away" suburbs to work in the city everyday. It was insane and kind of traumatizing to me. When I think of commuting, I think of sitting in your car in traffic, not fighting your way to a board a train that will leave you if you aren't right on time. To put it another way: I feel that if you're going to work in the city and fight the other 86 billion people also doing so, that you should be living in the city and enjoying all that it has to offer, not worrying about catching the last train home for the night at exactly 8:13 p.m. I can't imagine living here and not being in the city. What would be the point then to putting up with the mega-crappy winters? I like to tell Adam that the suburbs here are Anywhereville, America. If we're going to live in Anywhereville, we might as well be closer to our families or in a place with a semi-decent climate (although if TX has another summer like this one next year, I may be changing my tune a little bit about wanting to go back).

There are days that I feel like I could handle having "city kids" but then I remember the tragedy that is Chicago Public Schools (sidenote: I will never send my kids to private school, I went when I was little and I absolutely do not believe in them). Then I remember the 20 muggings in and around our neighborhood in the past month. Then I look outside and realize there'd be no yard for the golden retreiver that Adam wants someday. Then I think about the pool I have always wanted to have in my backyard and I think about wanting my kids to have easily accessible grandparents someday. We're kind of alone in our own little world here in Chicago and while it's good for us for now, it's going to be very interesting to see where we end up in another five years.

P.S. If Chicago wins the Olympic bid, I might be having a city baby for a couple of years because there's no way I'm leaving before the Olympics!

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