I am and always will be a Silver Spring girl. I grew up in a neighborhood with a community pool and a church all within walking distance.
I was a student in and later taught for MCPS. I loved being 10 minutes from DC, 25 minutes from Annapolis and a half hour from Baltimore. I loved that I could walk to a shopping center but also had friends whose yards were big enough for pools, and horses.
As an adult I tried out Baltimore (fun) and Annapolis (pretty). But when it came time to raise kids I headed right back to the heart of Silver Spring.
Some things had changed. There was a new downtown and it was almost impossible to find a house under $500k.
No matter the “upgrades”, the core of the town remained the same. As a parent I couldn’t be more pleased.
My kids live in a true community neighborhood where people bring meals to families with new babies and shovel walks of elderly neighbors. There are parades on the 4th of July and everyone looks out for everyone else.
On any given day when the weather is warm, there is an impromptu block party somewhere within our neighborhood limits. As a mom surrounded by moms, there have been no judgements. Some of us work. Some of us stay home all day with kids.
Regardless of our choices, we all support each other and recognize even if we do things differently, we’re all doing the best we can to raise our families well and keep our head above water in the process. It’s like 1950 here. We call our neighborhood Mayberry.
There is one marked difference between 2009 and 1950 that sets Silver Spring apart. The ethnic and cultural diversity that I grew up with and my kids are experiencing now is such a gift.
My daughter’s Kindergarten class looks like a meeting of the UN. She is learning so much from her friends with different backgrounds and it’s far more valuable than any reading or math skill she is acquiring in the process.
The beauty of this diversity is that even though we may be different, we embrace the sameness: our goal to give our kids the best life we can and to enjoy what we learn from one another.
We are neighbors, parents and Silver Springers. Even if we don’t speak the same language or come from the same place, we all share a commonality that makes us true neighbors.
That is what I love about Silver Spring and that is what I’m learning doesn’t ring true of every suburb of every big city. Silver Spring is unique. And I feel lucky to have it in my bones.
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