Never say never: my salute to suburbia

Once upon a time, almost 10 years ago now, I met my husband.

I don’t remember when we started talking about marriage and kids (he tells me it was very early on that he knew exactly what I wanted…I’m scant on details as to when I said it but I’ll take his word for it).

When we had this conversation, he told me he always wanted to live on a quiet cul-de-sac like he’d grown up on. I think I said I eventually wanted a small town (or maybe I said his later…again, details fuzzy). However. I do recall not wanting suburbia (like vehemently not wanting to live in what I may have coined a cement city where huge, attached garages stick out too far) and instead really wanting a character home. At the time, I was also keen on buying in Saskatoon’s Riversdale neighbourhood.

My husband thought this crazy but fast – forward about two years and we were buying a condo in Riversdale. A couple of years later, we bought what might be considered a character home in the same neighbourhood.

Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone who dreams of owning a character home, but I came to realize it was awesome renting that massive character apartment (it was so lovely and in an awesome neighbourhood) because I didn’t own it and didn’t have to pay for maintenance. Our little Riversdale house was great except when water started pouring through the ceiling right before we were going to list it for sale. Oh, and it was really hot. Deathly hot. Pregnant and deathly hot….

So where were we moving to? Frickin suburbia! My husband’s dream: new home on a quiet street (a court so only one way in and out). My dream of moving to a small(er) town came true, too.

While I like where I live, this salute to suburbia is to a Saskatoon neighbourhood I’ve likely swore I’d never live in, and yet the past two times I’ve visited a friend there, I’ve come away thinking, This is great! My, how times change.

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It goes to show you should never say never. Would I have wanted to live there or here five years ago? No. Not at all. But when it came time to find a home for our growing family, one we could afford and ticked all the boxes (kids nearby, big backyard, quiet), well, here we are.

I’ve had friends say to me they’d never live in suburbia and I say, hey, that’s cool. We’ve each gotta do what works for ourselves. But we should probably not be so hasty in judgement because you just never know: next time you and your toddler might be touring the parks and construction zones of a suburb (or maybe it’s just my toddler who prefers construction to lush trees) and think, hey, this isn’t half bad. I could live here.

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Or, like me, you might decide that that double, attached garage is THE BOMB and you’re never not having A/C again and while new homes have lots to do (driveway, deck, landscaping), I’d rather that than the ceiling water feature my character home had.

So here’s to you, suburbia! We’ve had a rocky relationship in the past, but I’ve warmed up to you. Just keep up the construction and you, my toddler, and I will continue getting along just fine.

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