Tomorrow Katie and I leave for Coffeyville, Kansas.
That’s my hometown. It’s a decent place to live. A decent place to grow up. I wouldn’t want to live there now, just like the extra options a big (well, big as Saint Louis is) city gives.
Growing up in a small town gave me a different childhood than Katie had in Saint Louis. Instead of going to Cardinal games when I was little, I went to my little league games, or the extra-special trip to see the Royals and my favorite player George Brett. I used to chew Big League Chew so I could be like George. Of course, the bubble gum didn’t have the same life altering effects the tobacco did.
I think, being a kid in a small town, gives you a little more freedom. Freedom in where you can ride your bike. I could go downtown, around my school, all over the place. I’m sure Katie couldn’t (or wouldn’t) ride her bike downtown.
I also had this great creek to play in behind my grandparents’ house. This vein of adventure and wonder was the main feature in my childhood. I spent a majority of my summer days wading through her water. Catching crawdads with my hands. Walking from bridge to bridge, avoiding the poison ivy and rose bushes.
A small town childhood is a great way to grow up. Perhaps we’ll retire to a small town.
Either way, I’m sure I’ll love taking my son to Busch instead of the little ballpark on Exner.