I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I love living in the burbs.
I was a hater, at first. When we started looking for a house, we had been married for 6 months, and I was just barely acclimating to life as wife and parent. I had been living the single life for awhile, living solo in a one-bedroom downtown Denver-ish, Cap Hill apartment. I love the originality of downtown – nothing is a chain and everything is interesting. I loved the little coffee shops and dive bars, being close to work, my friends, etc. Sure, I spent most of my social time drinking wine on a couch somewhere, but I felt safely young and hip with the options surrounding me.
When I met my now-husband, we hit up so many of those great downtown date spots. It was my own little dream come true, walking to get coffee together, or to get a cocktail, or taking a quick Uber from my “dollhouse” (as my husband affectionately named my tiny apartment) to a fun restaurant in the Highlands. Dates for days. Young(ish) and in love, never lacking for somewhere new to explore together.
So flash forward: we are married, yada yada, and we start looking for houses. I found out quickly that my husband was clear, unabashed suburb apologist. I felt shocked, betrayed, confused, and a little disconcerted at this discovery, frankly. Despite these emotions, we started researching our options; I wasn’t giving up without a fight. We started cruising Zillow, ReColorado, and so on, looking for reasonably priced homes in the areas I was hoping for, but when we talked through what we wanted in what we hoped would be our forever home – the options were all suburbia, as far as the eye could see. We couldn’t even find a 4+ bedroom house with a good kitchen and a backyard in any of the more moderate in-between neighborhoods. With each house we looked at, it became clearer and clearer, we were going to be suburbs people.
And then, one fine day, we found our house. We put in an offer. I loved the house, no question – but I silently grieved becoming boring, vanilla suburbs dwellers. I’m not ready, I protested in my head. I’m still young, full of life. I won’t fit in here! I refuse to conform!
It’s been nearly a year since we first laid eyes on this house we now call home, out here in the deep, deep burbs of far-reaching Highlands Ranch, and I need to confess something. I could not love it more out here. I could not be happier. I’m not even a little bit mad. I’ve conformed. I love it here. Consider me a convert.
We have a huge backyard. Our daughter goes to a neighborhood school we can walk to in under 6 minutes, and all of her school friends also live in our neighborhood. We have friendly, affable neighbors. We have a guest room, a basement, and a theme-decorated bathroom. We got a puppy! We have favorite restaurants nearby, which are definitely chains and I don’t even care. It’s quiet, peaceful, and private, and I can sit in my backyard drinking wine if I want (I mean not in April, when all it does is snow, but otherwise). I go to a grocery store five seconds from my house with a bunch of other moms in visible solidarity of my yoga pants uniform. It’s all greater than I ever knew.
I’m living the suburban dream.
I was afraid of succumbing to a boring, vanilla life in the suburbs. I am now a defender of just that. While I can still see the appeal of city living, of being close to restaurants and cooler things, and we certainly could have had a happy life there, I would not trade anything for what we have carved out here in the deep ‘burbs.
I love backyards, neighborhood pools, swing sets, patio dining, grilling out, and making up the guest room for a visitor. I love shopping for groceries with a bunch of other soccer moms and spending Saturday afternoon at a chain restaurant with 45+ other kids in sports uniforms. And sure, we’ll still make the 30-minute haul downtown for a fancy date night out from time to time – after which we’ll come home, pay the babysitter, and settle back into our sweet little suburban routine.