I often wonder what it would be like if I wasn’t in a city. Wouldn’t life be happier for everyone if we had a large backyard, quality schools at affordable prices, and less crowds? There are times when I just can’t stand the stress and cost of city life and would gladly give it all up for the nearest suburb. However, I can’t. God has called me to live in San Francisco at this moment in time and you can’t argue with the boss. So instead of focusing on the negative, which is sooo easy to do, I’ve decided to explore the benefits of where I am right now. To kick it off, I’ve come up with some of my favorite perks of living and raising Caleb in the city.
When it comes to choices, you sure have plenty in a city. Here is some highlights:
- Food – Everyone knows you can get almost any type of cuisine but what I also love is the convenience. I can easily run to a 24-hour grocery store, order pick up from local restaurants, or have wholesome meals delivered within minutes.
- Activities/Events – I’ll never say I can’t find anything to do. Between watching skaters in Golden Gate Park to animal classes at the zoo, sometimes my toddler ends up getting double booked!
- Schools – Although it is a PAIN to get your child into a quality school, I do have to say I have many different styles of teaching to choose from. Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, language immersions, school of the arts, cutting-edge charters… If I didn’t like one school of thought, I sure can try another!
- Doctors – I found a great pediatrician before we moved to San Francisco. She had plenty of experience, was on the same page as me on important health issues, and had three great grown children of her own. I loved her but end up hating her staff. Turns out, this city is filled with quality pediatricians and I was able to find another great one in the very same building AND with a more competent and friendly staff. Easy fix to what could have been a terrible situation had I not had as many options.
“How do you raise any kid with a true understanding and context of what kind of life they have versus what kind of life other people have?”- Matt Damon Since our own family is multi-racial, it is very important to me that Caleb learns and experiences other cultures. I love that I can expose him to different foods, languages, and customs. Living in San Francisco means that my son can have a slice of an award winning Naples pizza, hear a Caribbean-style storytime at the library, and watch an awesome Chinese New Year parade.
I came across this article that mentions exposing children to the darkness of the world and it really made me think. I want Caleb to understand that not everyone is as blessed as he is and that he should use his blessings to help others. After reading this piece, it occurred to me that I could be using this city to expose my son to different human condition and help mold his desire to serve others. I must carefully plan how and when I do this but I love that the possibility is there.
These are some of the reasons I love parenting in a city. My son is just a toddler so I’m sure I’ll come up with more as he grows. What about you? Would love to hear your thoughts.