I moved to Chicago eleven years ago for law school. I fell in love instantly. I never want to leave. Ever. I'm staying put come hell or high water - and where I live, I would likely look down upon Noah and his drifting ark were it to flood.
I enjoy lively urban living. Bustle suits me. I'm a busy body and enjoy the comfort of knowing that even if I doze off for a spell, my city is alive and well and will soon resuscitate me.
I have a corner unit with an amazing view and a 24-hour door person. It's my birdhouse in the sky. Hence the flood comment. I maintain control and feel at ease from my vantage point. Plus, the sound of the 22 bus lulls me to sleep and the moonlit city lights illuminate my path to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
What's not to love? Luella is paper trained. We see the Navy Pier fireworks from our living room every Wednesday and Saturday. We keep our favorite take out on speed dial and can order 100 different kinds of food to our doorstep within thirty minutes. The world's best farmers market is up the street. We can walk to the zoo in four minutes - the lake in five. We can whoop it up and take a cab home thus eliminating any opportunity to drink and drive. Oh. And, we don't need to be home to accept packages or let the cable guy in.
Why would anyone ever trade this bliss for suburban living?
I realize that with children come a new set of circumstances and considerations: safety, childcare, schooling, space and the plain old expense of living. With one more child, we will need a bigger home, a new car, more child care ... blah blah blah. The cost of city living can be steep, but to me, it's worth it.
I want Leighton to experience Chicago and come to love it as I have. I want her to visit the zoo several times each week and make use of the museums and parks. I want her to dine al fresco with us during the summer and play in the Lincoln Park snow in the winter. I want to take her to take the el to see the White Sox and walk to see the Cubs.I want her to love people and know as many different kinds of people as she possibly can. Yes - even Cubs fans.
I don't know what to do. We're looking at bigger homes in the city, suburbs and even Milwaukee and the whole ordeal makes me cranky and tearful. Urban twenty-somethings always say they're "never moving to the burbs" and then, one by one, they flee.
Why? Is it cost, space or safety? Do they like having to drive everywhere instead of walk? I'm having trouble recognizing the lure of suburban living. Maybe it's just me.
Did you struggle with the "city or suburbs" question? What did you do? What is so darn great about the suburbs? Please share your fuss with us.