Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome Judy and Tom!!! Because Maybe Kids Need Privacy Too.

I recently read an article about kids and privacy that got me thinking. The gist of the article was that kids need privacy and that a lot of parenting blogs forget this. True enough. Of course, I try not to write things that would put them in danger or anything. That’s why I don’t put photos of them up. But it’s just as important to keep them anonymous for their own general ability to maintain a private life and childhood as more people begin to stumble upon the blog.

That’s why I’m not going to be using Judy and Tom’s real names anymore. You may now be wondering who Judy and Tom are. They’re my kids for the purposes of A Family in the City.

The reason I’m announcing this is that I didn’t want any regular readers (a.k.a., family—thanks for reading, guys!) to wonder what happened to the old kids or how I got new ones so quickly. There’s nothing to worry about! We shipped the old kids back to the dealership under warranty and I got these new ones at a steeply discounted price downtown.

So, if you look back through old posts, you’ll see that the old kids’ names have been removed. The new kids’ names will be used from here on out! What’s the lesson we’ve learned today? Always keep your receipts! Maybe I’ll do a blog post about teaching Judy that lesson…

A Family in the City & Boston Explorers

I’m excited to announce some big changes to the blog!  I’ll be dividing A Family in the City into two separate websites.  This will allow the blogs to be more consistently useful and interesting to you, my favorite readers!

A Family in the City will now be dedicated full time to posts about family life, kid stuff, and parenting.  This space will feature posts about the hopes and fears parents have, and the kinds of decisions we have to make as parents to successfully guide our kids as they navigate childhood.

Boston Explorers, the new site, can be found at bostonexplorers.com.  It’ll focus on our family’s quest to discover the city.  So, while we’re exploring, I’ll share what we learn about Boston’s history, architecture, art, and culture.  It’ll include reviews of restaurants and interesting shops.  I’ll keep on the lookout for the easiest and best ways to make use of the most well known attractions in Boston as well as reporting out on the hidden, less famous gems we find.

All the content that related to Boston will still be available here on A Family in the City under the Archived category (look in the sidebar to the right), but any new Boston-related posts will be on the Boston Explorers blog.

So, if you like the parenting stuff, keep up with A Family in the City.  If you like the Boston stuff, keep up with Boston Explorers.  If you like both, keep up with both.  If you like neither, keep quiet and don’t tell anyone!

Thanks for reading!

Coming in August 2013…

A Family in the City will begin regular posts in mid- to late-August, 2013, so check back at the end of the summer for new content.  I’ll be starting a series on teaching kids about nature in the city, one about creating a family identity statement, and one about going on kid-led adventures!  I’ll also be writing reviews for places all around the Boston area.  I’ll also review cool products and I’ll be sharing everyday hacks for family and city life.  
I’m really excited about hearing your stories and tips, too!  I hope you’ll treat this blog like a community forum – a place for your family to share thoughts on topics that are important to you.  What questions do you have?  What answers do you have?  Post them in the comments section below and I’ll do everything I can to address them and incorporate them into future posts.  Together, we can build an online community of urban families who take a thoughtful, unique, and adventurous approach to life.
1896 Tremont St. - Building a different sort of community
Construction in 1896 Tremont St. – Building a different sort of community

About A Family in the City

I’m a stay-at-home-dad, turned social worker, turned stay-at-home-dad again.  My wife brings home the bacon, I cook it, and our two kids (ages 9 and 7) would eat it, except our 7 year old is too picky to eat bacon.  I know.  I don’t get it either.

Where I grew up, in the rural Southeast, it was considered a legitimate activity for my 12 year old self to wander down the side of a hot, quiet highway with my sister and pick up the cotton that had blown off the tops of trailers – I was convinced once I’d gathered enough I’d be able to sell it to the cotton gin for a hefty profit.

In the rural/suburban world where I was raised, families visited cities sometimes.  On a day trip to a museum or a zoo.  To run errands.

Parents would stuff their driver’s licenses into their socks so that it wouldn’t get taken along with their wallets when they got mugged.  The day began early and the adults had a nervous energy as they geared up to drive in traffic that would surely be so heavy it could crush a minivan.

As promotions and pay raises were earned, new families moved out of the hustle and bustle of the city to make way for the new generation of young professionals.  The suburban sprawl extended further and further away from downtown while cube-like, brick houses sprang up around labyrinthine collections of cul de sacs.  According to my childhood, American family life always occurs in these single family houses with lawns that are surrounded by other single family houses with lawns.  It’s assumed in popular culture: cities are for Seinfeld and Friends and Frasier.  Suburbs are for The Brady Bunch and Andy Griffith or even Roseanne and The Simpsons.

This image of the natural environment of the family seems to hold true for family life blogs, too.  That’s why this blog will provide a forum for all the families in the great, big cities who live in apartments and take the bus to the grocery store.

In addition to chronicling my own family’s adventure of moving from a 1700+ square foot house in rural New Hampshire to a small apartment a few blocks from Fenway Park, this blog will explore parenting, fun family projects, lifehacks, and family-friendly design ideas.  It’s a place to hash out challenges that are universal to family life, but that have solutions that are unique to urban life.  It’s a place to showcase ideas for how to be better parents, how to raise happier, healthier kids, how to create efficient households.  It’s a blog for families who take alternate routes and exciting detours.