My earliest memory of wanting to leave my small town was middle school. The feeling probably began earlier than that, but Jr High is when I remember it becoming a day to day goal. Spread my wings, see the big city, go somewhere that my unique personality would be appreciated. All of the cliche “I’m too big for this small town” reasons.
I left. Graduated high school early and moved away for college. I stayed away for ten years. Then, another cliche event happened-I moved back after a difficult divorce. Cue the Julia Roberts movie now. In the last years of my marriage I actually had tossed the idea of moving back around. It seemed like a good idea. Maturity and life lessons had made me realize the advantages of a small town. But the stars were aligned differently and the blessing of a divorce came, so I packed up and moved ‘home’ to plant my roots.
I’ve been back in my hometown now for almost nine years. Almost equal to the time I was gone. I’ve remarried, built a house on my family’s land, and we are raising our six year old daughter. Our daughter goes to the same primary school I went to with some of the same teachers. We attend the same church my grandmother attended when she was alive. My daddy was born and raised in this small town also. There is a comfortable familiarity that is soothing and at the same time the reasons I wanted to leave sometimes rear their ugly head too.
But, then this happens. My six year old breaks her wrist and is going to have surgery Tuesday. We have had such an outpouring of support and prayer from the community that can only come from this small town. A high school classmate of mine who no longer lives here has a son who is battling a rare form of childhood cancer. This small town is supporting her with fundraiser help, donations, etc even though she lives two hours away. But, she’s one of ours. Her roots are still in this ground of this small town too. That’s when I realized there is no place I’d rather be to raise my small family than here in this small town.