I’ve been back at work a week now. I’ve been working out of the home, full-time. Hubby’s been home with the kids, full-time. Now, it’s time to go.
I’m a Special Education Teacher working with a great bunch of students and awesome staff. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Hubby has meals cooked by the time I come home, the kids are happy with Daddy at home and life is so much less stressful than the circle of craziness that two working parents and three different daycares would bring.
We are happy with less, because it gives us so much more.
If you are a new visitor, you might not know we’ve made the decision to leave our lives in a huge, sprawling suburb of Toronto, Ontario, to Smalltown, Ontario. (See Big City to Small Town.) This was a hard decision, but it is the best one for us. I love the city of Toronto – I can see the CN Tower from my living room. I love working there, I love the intellectual life and diversity (not to mention healthcare services). But I love my family more.
We are a super-powered, special needs family. We juggle appointments, therapies, diagnoses. And we want more. I want my children to walk on their own lawn. I want my kids to play outside without worrying about ‘smog advisories,’ ‘humidex’, or random strangers. I want my children to see their Grandparents and Aunt, who live in Smalltown, Ontario too.
We want small town life with a lower cost of living. We want the time and the space small town life will bring. In our world, smaller is bigger.
Recently we spent the weekend driving to local conservation areas and small towns, living small town life by proxy. But we honestly can’t afford those housing prices any more. (Heck, the whole outing cost nearly $50, including snacks and applepicking.) To live the life we want means we need to go further away. And we’re happy to do that.
Right now, we want to get out of our neighbourhood. We’ve been living in our area for a few years. Our old building is in a forgotten area. Our neighbours used to be ‘quirky.’ Everyone was a little rough around the edges, but most folks had a heart of gold. We were a mix of ‘working poor’, ‘working class’, and ‘dirt poor.’ (See White Trash vs. Day of Pink) Many people worked shift work, and those who were home during the day would hang out together.
Police would patrol the area on weekends to stop alcohol-induced fighting. People smiled together, laughed together and gossiped together. Everyone talked to each other, except for that one guy who didn’t talk to anyone. But, everyone talked about him.
With a change in property management the neighbours are now are scary. Most of those nice folks left, and the new folks coming in are a much younger, partying crowd bringing drugs, baseball bats, and the police.
This week alone Hubby witnessed an assault while waiting to pick my son up from the bus, and advised the victim to put down his baseball bat. On Sunday morning Hubby shared the elevator with a gentleman wearing “Hell’s Angels” patches on his vest. I don’t know about you, but in my area no one wears stuff like that unless they belong to the Hell’s Angels.
On that same day Hubby was took the kids out to the park. On the way to the park he passed a building that had dozens of police cruisers and a coroner’s van parked in front. He later heard on the radio that a woman was murdered there last night.
It’s time to go.
Old Neighbour and Pig
He’s not a Hell’s Angel either, just some guy who lived on the 8th floor with his pet pig. (I told you my neighbours were quirky!)
Sadly, I haven’t seen him much lately and assume he’s moved out too. More drug-dealers and partiers fill his space. It is time to move. Our small town building has become decidely big city.