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A few years ago, I was having drinks with some colleagues.  One of those colleagues exclaimed, "Oh! You're from LeaveItToBeaverLand!!" when she discovered that I grew up in the same town where she went to college.  In response . . .
I smiled a polite smile - perhaps the smile you might expect from someone who grew up in LeaveItToBeaverLand. 

My hometown is small.  The population is under 5,000 when the college is not in session.  There are fewer than five intersections with stop lights.  Most everybody is in most everybody's business - at least a little bit.  Friday nights in the fall are for high school football games.  The arrival of a Wendy's on the town's outskirts in the 1990s was preceded by vigorous debate.  I graduated with a little over 100 other people in my class, many of whom I had known since I was seven.  

As a teenager, I probably would have loved the suggestion that my town was LeaveItToBeaverLand.  I picture my high school self saying something very clever in response.  Something like: "Yeah.  Totally."

Luckily, I am no longer a teenager, and I have the good sense to appreciate my little hometown and to recognize that the luxury of feeling safe in my town at any time of day or night should not be confused with the fiction that life is simple.

One of my friends from this little hometown has a one-year-old daughter fighting a serious illness.  The details do not feel like mine to share, and my own reaction to what she is experiencing is irrelevant - except for two things:

1. My old friend has some kind of well of strength inside her that is, in a word, humbling.

2. The people from my graduating class, many of whom I have known since I was seven, have shown the kind of love and support that makes me hope that my Bug and my Squish are lucky enough to grow up in a place like LeaveItToBeaverLand. 


  1. A little bit weepy over this sweet post! So thankful for all of my memories with you in LeaveItToBeaverLand.

  2. Likewise.

    (I still remember us making a "movie" of The City Mouse and Country Mouse - and I believe we chose that song I'm Walking on Sunshine as some kind of soundtrack. Are you as shocked as I am that neither of us is currently a big shot in Hollywood?)