The City Life Season. - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

Where OKC parents find fun & resources

The City Life Season.

by Emery Clark

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

It was only a few weeks ago that I came back to the city life here in the OKC metro, which turned out to be incredibly great timing seeing as how this publication is not called CountryFamily Magazine. (har har.) My family and I moved out to the countryside five years ago, with grand hopes in our hearts and stars all up in our eyes.  We had three acres to call our own, with a rustic barn out back and a pasture to roam around in. Our kids were so little back then, and we just knew it would be the perfect place to raise our family. I had fond memories of growing up outside of town in the sagebrush foothills of Nevada- exploring and hiking and fort building until the sun would dip behind the mountains. I had wanted the same wildness and freedom for my own three boys, and after much soul-searching, we ended up far north of the Oklahoma metro in a small house under some big cottonwood trees.

It’s funny, isn’t it? The way we think we know how things are going to turn out? I had it all planned in my head, and, for the most part, things really did go exactly according to the plan. There were breathtaking sunsets and bright stars and we heard nothing but the wind wooshing through the tree tops like waves most nights. We had big parties in the barn and strung up white lights everywhere. The pasture became a parking lot for our friends and we’d dance and roast marshmallows and laugh. It was a lot of work but it was lovely. There was still just something missing, though. I kept hoping and praying that the issue would resolve itself, but eventually I had to face the facts.

My kids were so lonely out there, y’all.  There just were no other kids around for them to play with. And while I remember being completely happy wandering around outside alone as a little girl, my boys just aren’t wired the same way. They are social little dude-muffins, and they were all longing for some friends to run around with and laugh with and cause mischief with. Instead of loving the great outdoors and spending every waking minute out in it, they were holing up inside and going stir-crazy. The bickering was intense. The battle over screen time was unending. My hopes of peaceful country living were being undermined by my own restless runtlings, and so… it was time to re-evaluate.

The country life was sweet, but there are different seasons in this life. For this season of young kids and after school activities, closer community just makes more sense for us. We needed to be 25 seconds from the grocery store instead of 25 minutes from it. We needed to have playmates next door instead of across town. We needed less land to mow and maintain and more time together as a family at the ice cream parlor. (Do you city folk even call them that anymore? I have so much to learn!)

The most freeing thing about all of this for me is in reminding myself that seasons are not permanent. They are temporary by definition. What works for our family now may look very different in the future! Maybe we’ll end up in the country again after the kids are grown and gone? Or maybe a downtown condo! I love how every family is a unique mash-up of personalities and emotions and strengths and weaknesses… What fits you might not fit me, and vice versa! That’s a really beautiful thing. It’s good for me to stop and remember that life really is a flexible, swirly road map rather than a rigid marching line from point A to point B. If something isn’t quite right, or life throws you a curve ball, it’s okay to make a left turn or a right turn or even to double back! We are all just trying to figure it out as we go along.

So here we are, back in a close-knit neighborhood in the city, surrounded by a bunch of kind, neighborly Okies who have welcomed us with open arms and plates full of cookies. The bickering has come down quite a few notches and the consequences for my kids have suddenly shifted from ‘no screen time’ to ‘no bike time’.  (Devastating!) My boys are thriving. And while there are things we do miss about our little country home, the city season is blooming and there is nowhere else we would rather be than this wonderful community right smack dab in the heart of Oklahoma.

more stories

Verified by MonsterInsights