The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Friday, January 04, 2008

Living in the Suburbs Means... #6

Getting the hell out of the suburbs.

Happy New Year-ish! Let's see, where have I been since mid-December? Oh yeah, we were selling our home.

Yup, after just a year and a half out in the 'burbs, P and I have had enough. Enough with the long commute, enough with the driving everywhere, enough with malls and the lack of options. We do like the peace and quiet, and relative lack of crime, but those two factors just don't tip the scales for us.

Maybe it's just our particular neighbourhood, but there's a real lack of community out here. One of the reasons we picked Champlain Heights was because there were supposed to be a lot of young families. And apparently there are, the problem is P and I don't see any of them.

Champlain Heights is mainly a townhouse neighbourhood; blocks and blocks of townhouse complexes as far as the eye can see. Residents within each complex get to know each other, but there is virtually zero connection with the complex next door. The kids living in these complexes play within their complex, so when The Boy and I go to the local park, we're often the only two people there. We are surrounded by a couple thousand other people, yet we feel totally alone.

So it's been a stressful past few weeks, not so much about the selling of our home, but the anxiety of keeping the place neat enough to show with The Boy on the loose.

In less than 45 minutes after our last open house, he managed to turn our "showroom-ready" house into the Gaza Strip of toys. And with potential buyers viewing while P and I were at work, we had to keep the house in a constant state of clean. Luckily our house sold last week, because it was exhausting.

I can now go back to wallowing in my own filth - very liberating.

Otherwise our holidays were delightful. The Boy didn't really "get" Christmas, which suited us fine. P and I had to practically force him to open his presents. I'm smugly thinking that we've raised a child who is not into consumerism, but I have a feeling that smug attitude is going to disappear next Christmas.

The Boy did like seeing his cousins though. And so while he curtly turned his nose up at the sweater and pants we bought for him, he couldn't get enough of his extended family. The fact that he was at least 14 inches shorter and four years younger than his next closest cousin didn't bother him at the least. Being an only child we think it's important that he know his cousins, so P and I were happy to see them all get along.

My posts will be sporadic the coming weeks, as we get ready to move at the end of January. This time around we're shipping The Boy off to stay with my parents for a few days, which will make this move go MUCH smoother than the last one.