If there is one thing I've learned, as a full-time working mother of three, it's that I know I can't do it all. Truly - it takes a village. And I'm proud to say that North Reading is my village.
I was honored to meet Ashley Troutman at an event hosted by the company I work for - located here in North Reading. In chatting with Ashley, I shared with her that I don't just work in North Reading (after years of miserable commuting) I live here too. I also told her about my blog, (shameless plug: MommiesTimeOut), and she invited me to blog for the Patch as well. So, here is my inaugural post for Patch.
When I moved to this town nearly eight years ago, I of course did my research on the school system, parks and recreational programs and property values. I had no kids at the time so these were the things that I thought should matter, not knowing any differently.
Today, I have three children (Jake, age seven, Addison, age five and Matthew age 20 months) and what I've come to learn is that the things that make a community so special are not the things you can research online. It's all the little things that make each and every day just a little simpler. And in North Reading, we have all of these things right in our own backyard.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Beth's personal greeting when you enter Abbott Shoes. After only shopping there a few times, she remembered our names, and even remembered my kids shoe sizes. Now, years later, she’ll have my favorite brand in my size set aside at the counter because she knows I'll spend all my time shopping for my kids and forget to grab anything for myself. Even after Matthew (my toddler) storms her aisles leaving a wake of scattered shoes and open boxes in his path, she kindly reminds me he's just a toddler being a toddler.
- IRP on a Saturday morning.
- Ryers Store, where you can catch up with a neighbor and stock up on a week's worth of deli meat for school lunchboxes in under 10 minutes.
- The pharmacy tech at Walgreens who after a little pleading, sold me a gallon of milk from the drive-through window even though I didn’t even have a prescription to fill. All, so that I could avoid having to wake a sleeping toddler and drag three kids in to the store for milk.
- The library. Its beautiful architecture is a perfect representation of our classic New England town center. I love how excited my kids get when they know they'll get to leave with a bag of books they can keep for 14 "sleeps."
- Most importantly, it's the people that make up our little town. The friends I've made here along the way that I can count on, when I can't be in two places at once. The ones that don't judge me even though I drive a minivan - because they drive one too. The ones that swing by with groceries when they know I'm stuck home with three sick kids while my husband is at a Patriots game laughing with his friends and drinking beer. (yep, still bitter)
I look forward to sharing more stories with you each week. So, what do you love most about North Reading? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below!