How to Gracefully Flee to the Suburbs

Kim Brown Reiner

I get it, you’re moving to New Jersey. I have nothing against you; my brother and Bruce Springsteen live there and my favorite housewife, Carmela Soprano, did too. You’re probably tired of paying $3,000 a month in rent and still not being able to order a large pizza because your apartment kitchen is so small.

Now that my daughter is in third grade we’ve said good-bye to many friends who ran away from apartments without washing machines and church-basement nursery schools that charge more per month than most engagement rings are worth.

Like me, you probably had storage space in the suburbs anyway, so good on you for making the move.

But when you go, remember some families are here because they choose to be close to jobs and family, don’t have a gazillion dollars for a down payment on a NYC-area suburban home, or just like doing all those things in Time Out for Kids.

My own reasons for staying are a combination of the above, except for Time Out. Lists of things to do with children just makes me feel like a horrible mom.

But I digress. You are going, so please:

1. Don’t send out an email with your new address and a vague open invitation to “come see us anytime” because “we have so much extra room.” I’m working ridiculous hours and too busy to find that email or my kids’ socks, let alone battle two hours in traffic to find your house without an agreed upon time and date. Soon enough you’ll be busy with your new mom friends, so let’s make a deal. If we weren’t close before you moved over a bridge and through a tunnel we’re both off the hook.

2. Now that we’ve made that deal, unless our children are BFFs there’s no reason to arrange a play date now. My daughter has already said good-bye to more friends than any 8 year old should have to part with, she doesn’t need to become close with anyone else who is about to take off.

So go forth into the suburbs, enjoy your air with actual oxygen and not worrying about the downstairs neighbor pounding on the ceiling when your toddler decides to do something completely outrageous, like, say, walk. But go quietly, is what I ask. We’re all heartbreak and loneliness by third grade in the city public schools and just can’t muster the energy to say good-bye gracefully yet again. Just cannot.

3. Speaking of moving on, please don’t post excessively on Facebook about how great your child’s school is. It must be nice to have a yard that doesn’t double as a parking lot and isn’t shut down when rat poisoning has been applied. Also, 18 children in a classroom, instead of 33 in a converted storage room, seems ideal. In fact, I wish anyone in charge of the New York City public school system had thought of that. I’m happy for you as long as you don’t post pictures of all those enormous athletic fields with subtitles like “2 great 2 have space.” Ever, ever, ever.

4. Also, you know how you’re moving into a 2,500-square-foot house with 9 walk-in closets? Well my place in Queens is exactly like that, only the opposite. So, now that you have enough storage for Costco runs, no need to wonder aloud how you survived in such cramped quarters all those years. My six-year-old son’s bedroom is only a bit bigger than his body and by this point my children think a hermit crab and Sea Monkeys are every bit as much pet as a dog. So, radio silencio about all those walk-in closets, please.

5. Finally, now that you have your own garage where you can park your very own car, please don’t tell me about it, because I really do not want to hear about it. Really. Do. Not. I just circled my block 68 times with two cranky kids asking, “Can we get out of the car now?” “How about now?” “Or now?” “Why not now?” “Mom, I have to pee right now and cannot hold it a second longer.” “Too late.” So seriously, no sentences that include parking, garage or car. Like in forever.

Thank you so much and good luck with the move.

Head to the Front Porch


Family Humor: How to Gracefully Flee to the Suburbs

 This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.

Kim Brown Reiner is a mom of two, who tries not to speak to her children before drinking coffee. She has written for NY1 News, The New York Times, the New York Post, The Village Voice, msnbc's Today Moms, Mamapedia Voices, Mamalode, Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop and many articles for local New York and New Jersey newspapers.