Read the first part, on country, here.
"City" didn't used to mean much to me. Near my hometown in Florida we had Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville (where I lived for a few years before moving to Boston). And while all of those cities are perfectly fine, what I've come to love are bigger cities - the ones with subways and legitimate public transportation, ones where you can easily bicycle or walk, exploring new neighborhoods along the way. I love the restaurants, the museums, and being able to go out the door front door and be close to anything you need. I love the fast pace, and how everyone seems to have a purpose about their stride. The city is electric and it fuels me.
As for raising kids in the city, the idea makes my heart swell so big. Every time I pass a mama pushing her stroller on the brick sidewalks it lights me up. The idea that we could raise kids in the heart of culture and expose them to so much, well, I think it's a special gift those city kiddos get. And it doesn't hurt that the city was our first home together - it's as if we fell more in love with the city as we fell more in love with each other (I realize that sounds cheesy, but it's true). The city is where we started our life together, and when you hold so many great memories of a place, and love a place so much, it's hard to imagine not raising your kids there.
These photos by Tim Coulson of Josh and Naomi Davis in NYC are so, so beautiful - a picture really is worth a thousand words, and these pictures say exactly what I feel about having a family in the city:
The weekend we needed to make a decision started off in the city. As we were driving home to NH on Friday night, we were both almost sure we wanted to move back into Boston for another few years. We felt like were weren't finished with that chapter of our lives. Come Sunday evening, after a weekend of praying and talking and analyzing, there was just this feeling we couldn't shake... it was time to move on from that old chapter in our lives, and time to start a new chapter in New Hampshire.
And, you know what? It feels really good to have made a choice. We've been living in limbo over this decision ever since we returned home from our trip... the indecision had been hanging over us, like a cloud of stress and doubt. It was a huge blessing to be put in a position where we had to choose one or the other. Now that we've settled our hearts, I don't carry this heavy weight every time I go into Boston, wondering will we or won't we end up back there. We won't, and it's surprisingly a-okay.
Now, we know that nothing is final - we make plans and God laughs, right? There is no way to know exactly what our future holds. But in this moment, we're at peace. And it feels really, really good.