Monday, August 30, 2010

Becoming a Suburban Housewife

It's not something I ever thought I'd be. In fact, I'm pretty sure that, in my former life, I made disparaging comments about living in the suburbs. I mean, they're just so... suburban. Doesn't the prefix "sub" automatically imply "lesser", as in "subzero" or "subhuman"? Therefore the suburbs are inherently inferior to the city, right?

When we moved to Kew Garden Hills, I felt like I'd moved to the suburbs. It took an hour by subway to get to Manhattan, and the neighborhood was filled with tree-lined streets of single-family homes. Granted, the playgrounds were still made of concrete, and there were just as many apartment complexes as homes, but the neighborhood still felt far more suburban than what I had been used to in Lakeview.

Side note: As I write this, I realize that West Rogers Park is full of homes and tree-lined streets, yet I never considered that area suburban. It's not exactly a hip urban neighborhood, but I never would have called it suburban. So I do acknowledge the inconsistency in my thinking.

And now I'm in Ottawa. This, friends, is truly suburban. Long winding streets, children riding bikes, lots of green grass, houses with yards. This is the Smallville to my Metropolis. Stranger yet, I'm not currently working, due to both motherhood and pending immigration status. So not only have I landed in the suburbs, but I'm technically a housewife.

As I said, this is nothing I ever foresaw as ever being remotely possible in my life. The weirdest part of all is that I'm enjoying it. I like the quiet, winding streets, and seeing kids playing or biking outside in the street. I like that, unlike Queens, my neighborhood does not smell like garbage. I like that I can take my son for a walk in his stroller down a bike path, and hear birds and crickets chirping. Most of all, I like being home with my baby, without having to balance work and family. My job is to be a mommy.

So no, it's not something I ever thought I'd say about myself. But I think, for the next few months, I'm going to be a great suburban housewife.

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