I couldn’t wait to go on mat leave, I remember telling my hairdresser. I could get a funky haircut, dye it a funky colour and stop feeling so suburban.
My hairdresser reminded me of that comment last week, a year and a half later with no funky haircut or funky hair dye in between. A wistful smile crossed my face, and then I laughed.
“No,” I said, “I’ve come to terms with being a soccer mom.
It’s true: I own a house in a post-war suburb, drive a four door hatchback, and take our daughter on walks in her jogging stroller around the retention ponds while discussing whether we’d be better served by purchasing a van or SUV. No amount of neon blue under cuts are going to make me any less suburban.
And I’ve accepted it. I hear a lot of bad press about suburbs from people around my demographic. It could be due to the fact I work in a downtown location that is surrounded by some of the trendier neighbourhoods in the city. Sure, we considered living in more urban area. But I grew up in a small town. I walked to school, to the grocery store, I biked for miles and miles unsupervised. While I couldn’t bring myself to move back to a small town, the next closest thing I can offer is a suburb. Little C can walk to school. She can walk to the grocery store. She may not be able to bike for miles unsupervised but I’m sure my parents wouldn’t be thrilled to know how far down the highway I would bike before trespassing to wade into streams.
It’s true — there is very little that distinguishes our neighbourhood from other post-war neighbourhood. And yes, sometimes I get an “Edward Scissorhands” feeling from it (you know, before Eddie comes along to add some whimsy). But it’s clean. It’s safe. And it’s where we live, and so it’s home.