“You’re moving where?!” squawked my brother. “I’m going to need an Indian guide to find you. They have cows and horses and…and…farms!” Despite my brother’s reservations and despite the fact that we rarely ventured beyond the confines of our Boston-centric community, the bucolic town of Sherborn was ideal for my husband and me. Bursting out of the seams of our home with 3 toddling boys, an uber-active husband, and expecting our fourth child in 6 years (a girl, thank God), we were in need of some serious elbow room. Sherborn it was.
Fast forward 20 years. But, wait … how’d that happen? I remember those never-ending days when the kids were little, I mean endless days. Well-intentioned neighbors would say, “Oh, honey, enjoy your children, they grow up SO fast”. I’m thinking, “Are you kidding!?” (ball whizzing past my head) I could barely see straight, let alone be dreamy about my children’s lives.
But, here I am, 20 years later. A 15 yard dumpster (the big one!) in my front yard … overflowing. Preparing to leave not just our home, but our town … of cows and horses, and yes, farms. But also, of people. The community. The folks who, when I courageously and inevitably let my 7-year-old ride his bike the mile and a half into the center of town (alone!) to meet friends while I kept watch over his younger siblings, called to let me know he was okay. Neighbors who hired my kids to do jobs that could have been done faster—and better—by a professional, landowners who allowed us to enjoy their property for hiking, skiing, swimming and skating. Schools and churches … who cared for us in sickness and in health. Who nurtured my husband and me as much as they did our children. Neighbors, who instinctively kept watch allowing my children to run free without my constant supervision, who made time to share a cup of coffee over the fence, who rescued our cat from our rooftop, and from whom I could borrow a cup of sugar.
It’s that sweetness … that kindness … that caring soul of a community, that I’ll miss most. But I know from the bottom of my heart that my children, my husband, and I are better people because of our community. Experts will quote test scores, house prices, and education levels, but me, I’ll take the intangible sweetness of life in Sherborn any day.
As always, with love…Barb