So let’s keep this between you and me, but there are some rare times where I actually enjoy living out here in a suburban
For example, I take my dogs on a half-mile walk every morning. A walk that bends along a small creek and across an open field. And while I know that this is an orchestrated manipulation of vegetation (i.e. “landscaping”), and not a natural occurrence, I must admit that it is rather nice in the springtime.
And today, I found that our slumbering biognomes had awoken from their winter hibernation, and come quietly in the night to mow, edge, pull the winter weeds, and trim the trees.
Our neighborhood also has this thing about “Tall Grass Zones” which, at all other times of year, are rather unsightly. However in the springtime the blooming wildflowers are quite lovely, and you forget that the tall grass is actually a tenement for all manner of rodents. I’ll try to remember to bring my camera with me tomorrow morning and take a couple shots for you.
Also, safety is a thing I’ve started considering more and more. Jen and I were talking last week about what it would be like to raise a child where we used to live (in the Heights), and, while it was difficult to admit, I really didn’t like the idea.
What you can’t see from that picture is its proximity to heavily trafficked areas, and to straight up ghettotown. (The house was roughly 800 yards from that spot on N. Shepherd.)
Also, there were our neighbors. A few of them were quite nice, but there were some drive-up drug dealers across the street, a shady guy next door whose wives kept mysteriously disappearing, and behind us were a few houses that were completely falling apart and sheltered at least a dozen low-income workers under each roof.
There is no way in hell that I’d ever feel comfortable with Jen taking our daughter for walks around there without me, nevermind when Daphne eventually gets older and wants to play by herself or ride her bike.
And so I gotta give it up for our current neighborhood in this regard as well. Fields, bike paths, playgrounds, splash pads, public pools with waterslides…
There’s friggin’ kiddie catnip on every street corner and I’d feel relatively safe allowing Daphne to explore them by herself. (Although when do you start allowing things like that? 3rd grade? Whenever her training wheels come off?)
And finally, the elephant in the room is, of course, the schools. The high school that Daphne is currently zoned to was just ranked as one of the best in Houston, and among the top 50 in Texas. The one she would’ve been zoned into in the Heights (Reagan) is, to put it kindly, “Not Ranked.” It’s a Title 1 funded school, and is currently flirting with being shut down for low student scores. (For example, only 36% of Reagan students were proficient in reading.) It’s little more than a teenage daycare. And while I do pay ludicrous amounts of school taxes for being within KISD, I’d otherwise be shelling out that much, or more, for a private school if I still lived in the city.
And so let it be written that, on this day, Jeremiah did indeed have kind things to say about suburban living. And it apparently only took having a kid to make that happen.