The Efficient Parent Blog

NURTURE. TEACH. PROTECT.

Top 10 Best Places to Grow Up September 13, 2009

Filed under: Nurture,Uncategorized — theefficientparent @ 16:02

A new reason to go to the library

A new reason to go to the library

 

U.S. News & World Report listed the Top 10 Best Places to Raise Children.   I was shocked that our town wasn’t on their Top 10 list.     Apparently U.S. News & World Report hasn’t heard about our library.  Not only is it fun for reading books and checking out dvd’s, our library has a waterpark and an amphitheater that features outdoor kid movies during the summer for just 2 bucks.  Half the  town shows up, blankets and picnics in hand, ready for some good wholesome family entertainment.    It’s tons of fun.  

 

A picnic and $2 to watch a movie under the stars

A picnic and $2 is all you need to watch a movie under the stars

 

I recently took my son and his friend (with my 2 month old daughter in tow) to see one of these outside movies at the library and they didn’t pay a bit of attention to the movie!  Instead, they gobbled up all the snacks and chattered amongst themselves the entire time.   Just in case I was unsure that they weren’t interested in the movie, my son kept telling me that he didn’t want to watch the “T.V.” anymore and to please pause it.  He didn’t notice that I wasn’t the one in possession of the remote!    It was cute listening to the two of them talk to each other and hear how their little brains process information.

 

All of the conversation between them was hilarious.  One conversation went like this:

 

Little Friend to my son:  “Hey, where did you get that baby from?”  (he said it as if he was inquiring about a “special” on babies at the supermarket)

My son:  “We didn’t get her from anywhere…she came out of my mommy’s tummy.”  (I thought he was going to add the word “duh” to this sentence, but he didn’t)

Little Friend: “You mean the baby just came right out of your mommy’s tummy?”  (something just didn’t sound right about that, so he was checking for clarity)

My son: “Yeah, we went to the doctor and the baby just came out.”   (maybe adding the doctor’s role with aiding in the process would make more sense)

 

Then there was a loooong pause, as the little friend was deep in thought about how the baby could possibly have entered the world in such a manner.  I’m sure the thought crossed his mind that my son was absolutely nuts, but instead of going into detail about how crazy the baby story sounded, the little friend simply changed the subject in the best way he knew how by saying  “Oh, well you know,  popsicles are cold.”     I think he figured he should keep the conversation simple because the baby discussion was a little too much!

 

At this point, I wasn’t interested in the movie either because the boys were so much more entertaining.

 

My son was interested in the space museum because he watched "Fly Me to the Moon" about 100 times before we visited the museum.  It's funny how cartoon flies helped my son make the connection between the Saturn V and the Moon.

My son watched "Fly Me to the Moon" about 100 times before we visited the museum. It's funny how little cartoon flies helped him understand what the big deal is about the Saturn V.

The Saturn V helped put Madison, Alabama on the map!

The Saturn V helped put Madison, Alabama on the map! I'm not smart enough to live there, but they did allow me to visit!

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

One of the towns listed in their Top 10 is Madison, Alabama.   Madison is such a popular girl name….I wonder if there is any connection between the Top 10 Place to Live list and the Top 10 Baby Name list?  Hmmm…

 

 

  

 

 

This is a neighborhood pool...it has earned a spot on my Top 10 Neighborhoods list

My son at someone else's neighborhood pool...it has earned a spot on my personal Top 10 Neighborhoods list

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. News & World Report: 
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Madison, Alabama
  • San Jose, California
  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Boston, Ma
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Rochester, Minn
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Plano, Texas
  • Edison, N.J.

Family Circle:

  • Rockwall, Texas
  • Evans, Georgia
  • Sherwood, Oregon
  • Indian Trail, North Carolina
  • Edina, Minnesota
  • Noblesville, Indiana
  • Perrysburg, Ohio
  • Hendersonville, Tennessee
  • Kenmore, Washington
  • Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

 

 

I told my husband that I want to make a point to check out some of the places on these top 10 city lists just to see what in the world is so exciting about them.  So we went to Madison, Alabama.  We really didn’t find much except for a military base.  But right down the road in neighboring Huntsville there is the Space Museum and Space Camp.   We also discovered that Huntsville is a very smart town, as there are lots of scientists swarming the place.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that I’m not smart enough to live there, but at least they did let me visit!

 

By the way, beginning at age 7, kids can attend space camp with their parents.  But let me warn you, if you were ever in the airwing of the military,  you’ve probably already experienced some of the Space Camp adventure as part of your military experience.  Still, the memories created with your child would be well worth it and I’m saving up now!  By the time my kid reaches age 7 maybe we’ll have enough saved to actually do it.

 

 

Don't worry!!  If you didn't get to experience Space Camp as a child, you can go as an adult with your kid.

Don't worry!! If you didn't get to experience Space Camp as a child, you can go as an adult with your kid.

I know that data such as crime rate and school quality are strong considerations in determining the top places to raise children.  But more than anything else  it’s the quality of the parents,  not the town, that shapes the quality of our kids’ experiences in childhood.  So, instead of picking up and moving to one of the towns on the list, let’s just nurture, teach and protect our children right where we’re at!  
 
 
In the meantime, my husband and I will  plan on creating some alternative low-cost memories with our kids.  And even if we never make it to Space Camp, we have lots of pictures to help us remember our moments at the museum.
 
 
 
 
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6 Responses to “Top 10 Best Places to Grow Up”

  1. I’m still laughing at the conversation between your son and his friend! What funniness!

  2. Deloyce Says:

    Well, Madison, AL is a great place to live. We went to downtown Madison this past weekend and ate lunch at the old Main Street Cafe… so good. Next time y’all are here, we will definitely have to go. Back in the good ole days, it used to be the City Hall, Fire Station, and Jail.

    I was surprised to see Virginia Beach, VA at the top of the list! Not much to do there either…. and it is so crowded.

  3. Mary O' Says:

    Personally the Twin Cities has been a great place to raise kids. It offers so many of the amenities that larger cities have, without the attendant problems. If only the winter wasn’t so long here!

  4. I’d have to add a city to the top 10 list: Las Vegas, NV. Yep, no lie. I grew up there and left it for 10 years and then decided with my sweet husband to return. We’re raising our 4 kids here in the desert sun with no regrets. It also helps that most of my extended family still live here, from aunts to grandma to cousins galore. it’s a sweet place to be.

    Great blog, like the look & feel & your posts. I’ll be back…

  5. […] Efficient Parent wrote in this month waxing philosophically about the top 10 best places to grow up. I should note this is 10 places in America because some otherwise notable entries would be […]

  6. […] Efficient Parent wrote in this month waxing philosophically about the top 10 best places to grow up. I should note this is 10 places in America because some otherwise notable entries would be […]


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