Newport by no means is a bustling metropolis (although on certain holiday weekends there may be a few disgruntled natives who would heartily disagree); but it is a small city nonetheless–and as such our backyard is small, our front yard is our street (and a potholed one at that), and the closest chicken is at Stop and Shop, sitting on a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic.
Today, though, we spent a serene afternoon at our friends’ house in Charlestown, Rhode Island–a beautiful wooded spot that boasts flora, fauna, and plenty of room to roam. At several junctures throughout our visit I remarked that Edgar was going to have a hard time leaving. From the moment he arrived, he allowed the setting to envelop him–the surrounding woods a treat for his senses–so much so that he forgot to eat or sit still. He seemed content in the country, as though he belonged. And while he didn’t seem any “happier” per se than he does at home in Newport, he did seem immediately at home.
We can never be sure as parents if we are raising our children in the right place. There are many young people who clamber at the first opportunity to leave the small town their parents chose to live to raise them; and I am sure there are many young city-dwellers who long to hear crickets instead of sirens as they drift off to sleep.
Tonight Oscar joined Don on our front porch and remarked how much he enjoyed our visit to our friends’ house today but then quickly added, “But I love this place, too.” Newport may not be where the boys ultimately choose to live, but it will always be their home.