Somehow I have found myself in the middle of a Leave It To Beaver life. Well, kinda. I mean, I don't vacuum in pearls like June did. Hell, I don't even vacuum unless threatened or shamed into it. But, what I mean is that I am living this almost idyllic suburban life. I know, I know -- so many folks deride this kind of "soul-less" existence. But, I really can't agree. I like that we live in a safe, clean neighborhood where kids run up and down the street to each others' houses. I like that we can walk to our neigborhood park and that I see half a dozen other moms pushing strollers on the way there. I like that I have a backyard filled with grass, flowers, and plants for my daughter to enjoy and dig in. I know that the detractors of suburbia quote the lack of diversity and culture, but in our little town, I don't feel like we're horribly lacking in those departments. At our playground, you definitely hear as much Spanish, and almost as much Russian and Mandarin as you do English. And, we have a great little downtown filled with a variety of cuisines and a theater that actually gets recognizable artists, comedians, and writers. I mean, I recognize that we don't have the level of cultural sophistication and diversity that our neighbors just 20 miles north in SF do. But, conversely, they don't have some of the advantages that we do here in suburbia. Do I sound a little defensive? Well, maybe -- although, that's not my intent. I am just feeling self-satisfied with the decisions that R and I made about where we were going to live and the lifestyle we were going to have.
Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh, I was going to describe our little suburbia hometown weekend. It was actually fantastic in that from the time we woke up on Saturday until Sunday night, we really didn't get in the car more than once or twice -- almost everything we decided to do was within walking distance. First, we walked our town's annual Pet Parade. That's right -- a Pet Parade. Yes, it's just as silly as you would imagine: people and their pets dressed up in costumes (often matching), contests for the prettiest pet, best costume, the pet that looks most like its owner, etc. It was schlocky and so much fun. S had a great time looking at all the woof-woofs ("dogs" in 1-year-old speak). Um, but note to the event organizers for next year: it's probably not a great idea to do a police dog demonstration to a crowd filled with little kids and toddlers. That's right, they demonstrated how our local police dog could take down a criminal in two seconds flat. In case you don't get the visual on that, imagine an eighty-pound German Shepherd racing across the open field to pounce and detain a "criminal" in front of 30 kids under the age of 10. Fortunately, R and I walked away and kept S from witnessing it once we caught the gist of what was about to happen, but I can just imagine the fear of dogs that took hold in some of those kids during that demonstration!
This weekend was also the festival for the local Catholic church in our neighborhood. It had just what you might expect: rides, games of "skill" and chance, food like cotton candy, snow cones, caramel apples, etc. They call them festivals here, but where I grew up on the East Coast, we called them carnivals. Ah, the church carnival -- so many reminiscences of being thirteen and holding hands with the boyfriend of the week, wondering if perhaps he might sneak you a little peck on the cheek before the end of the night (7pm). I saw so many kids there who reminded me of that time in my life -- only they looked WAY younger! I mean, is it possible that 10 year olds were walking around with boyfriends?! I mean, at 10 years old, I think I was still playing with Barbies. Okay, I was a little on the nerdy side, but still! Anyway, S was way to young to go on any of the rides, but she had a great time watching her dad win stuffed animals for her. And, when it got to be dusk and the older kids started showing up hand-in-hand, we packed her up and strolled back to our house tucked safely into Suburbia.