My husband and I have lived in Spanish Town since I moved here from California over 8 years ago. The quirky, walk-able neighborhood appealed to us along with its proximity to downtown, where we both worked. It also meant an easy walk home when we were finished at the bars and a night out. And most importantly, a prime spot for the Spanish Town parade! Our priorities at 23 were a bit different, but our love for the neighborhood hasn’t faded.
I’d always said there is nowhere else in Baton Rouge I would rather live, even once we had a kid. Of course, once the kid actually comes along the thought process is a little different. Once I got pregnant, I began wondering if this was the best place to raise a child. Suddenly the thoughts of schools and family-oriented neighborhoods were more predominant than the ease of walking home from work (and play). We regularly perused the real estate listings in the suburbs of Baton Rouge. It’s hard not consider the option of high quality and free public schools. I wondered if my son would miss out on the afternoons of playing in the street with the other kids in the neighborhood. But still, we stayed.
Fast forward almost three years later. This neighborhood we’ve loved has become even more a part of our family. Since we don’t have much of a yard, we spend our evenings and weekends going for walks around the surrounding parks to wear out our toddler and dog. I often lust for a backyard that I can watch my son play on a swing-set and let the dog run wild. But I see now that the lack of a yard has brought so much of this neighborhood together. We’ve met some great friends just by walking the parks at the same time. Our neighbors have watched our son go from being along-for-the-ride in his stroller to ruling the road on his tricycle. They get joy out of spoiling him with chocolate milk and giving our dog treats. When he’s out digging in the garden, they bring over shovels just his size. Our interaction with neighbors has grown more than ever before by having our son.
Our son may not have a bunch of kids in the neighborhood to play with right now. And schools are always a topic of discussion for us. But the collection of folks, activities, and history surrounding us seem to be enriching his life in a pretty special way. So for now, we’ll be staying right here. He’ll be the kid inviting his friends over for the Spanish Town parade every year and telling you exactly how many steps are in front of the Capitol.