I grew up in small town Bedford. At the time, I counted the days until I could leave for college and escape. Escape everyone knowing everyone, not having privacy, not having anything to do. So I left and only came back from time to time to visit family, still not seeing the “good” in a small town.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m back with my two young boys in tow on a temporary basis until we move across the country. Previously, we were living in an area where everything was at our fingertips. Activities for children as young as 6 months…music, movement, swimming…soccer and more then starting at 18 months. Target, grocery stores, pet stores with any item I could possibly need at all hours of the day. I was frustrated when I returned here that I couldn’t find activities for my 20 month old and 3 1/2 year old, everything starts at 4 or older. Frustrated that I had to order a lot of our general use products. Frustrated again with small town life.
While it is frustrating not to have planned activities, the joy in a small town is coming out in the sense of community I’ve seen (and refused to see when I was younger), being able to visit family anytime and spend time with grandparents. It is a slower pace of life where people seem genuinely happy, happy to see you, happy to just be rather than constantly rushing, pushing people out of the way, being angry and having a chip on their shoulders.
So we have been making our own fun. My mission now is to stop being pessimistic and looking down on a small town and to find the good. To find the fun. To enjoy life as we find our way in a small town.