Over the River and Through the Woods to Our House in the Suburbs We Go

I used to think becoming a mother was the scariest thing I could imagine. But when my son was born and my husband suggested we move to the suburbs, I found that idea much more frightening.

Moving from the city to the 'burbs!

Moving from the city to the ‘burbs!

Having lived in the city my entire adult life, I never realized how awesome it was until I actually left. When we lived there, I could have just about anything I wanted delivered to my apartment. The night my back went out, I had Valium delivered to my door. After we moved to the ‘burbs, the convenience of city life was a thing of the past. Not only couldn’t I get pharmaceuticals delivered to my house, but if

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I didn’t drive to the drugstore to pick them up by 5pm, I was out of luck.

Then there was the fact that I actually had to drive places. I think one of the reasons everyone delivers in the city is because nobody drives. Since parking costs almost as much as rent, most people I knew in the city didn’t even bother owning a car. But when we got out to the ‘burbs, having a car wasn’t a luxury… it was a necessity.

I hadn’t driven for 10 years, so I had to relearn the rules of the road. Apparently since the last time I’d been behind the wheel, the roads became narrower and the proliferation of mailboxes exploded. This was probably the reason I hit my neighbors’ mailboxes every time I backed out of my driveway.

While the roads became narrower, the cars, it seemed, had not. When I had last checked, the biggest cars were station wagons. When I got out to the ‘burbs, I discovered that all of the station wagons had gone on steroids and turned into minivans — and there were throngs of them. I got my first ticket because I made an illegal turn when I missed a “No Left Turn” sign thanks to the minivans blocking my view.

Another aspect I found scary about the ‘burbs was the abundance of honest to goodness wildlife. In the city, most of the wild animals were the size of a shoebox or smaller, with the exception of the occasional pet tiger or alligator some nut might have in his apartment. But here, we have everything from over-sized uber-woodchucks to the random hungry bear. Even the dogs are bigger out here.

Still, I realize that as scary as all these animals are, there is one thing that is eminently scarier, regardless of being in the city or the ‘burbs: The thought that my children would one day be teenagers.

Tracy Beckerman is a syndicated humor columnist and the author of the new book, “Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs” (2013, Perigee Books). You can find it on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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  1. [...] I did a guest post for NY Metro Parents, called “OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS TO OUR HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS WE GO,” and it’s about my move to the suburbs from the [...]

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