By D. Hanousek
Maybe it's the nonstop rain or the traffic on 101. Maybe it's the news that one of my SFUSD-champion parent friends is pulling her kids out of public school and putting them in private school. Maybe it's that my very pregnant best friend just announced that her family is moving from Sausalito to San Rafael, farther north. Something's getting me down and making me feel like raising my own kids in San Francisco makes me a crazy person. The truth is, it's getting lonely out here.
Just the other week, I read the most depressing article in the Chron (which was picked up by SFist), "Families' exodus leaves S.F. with lowest pct. of children in U.S."
Dear God, not again. The numbers quoted in the piece are so depressing: San Francisco has the lowest percentage of underage residents out of all the major cities in the countries. No wonder the hipsters hate us and scoff at our strollers. Maybe I be friendlier to other parents at the playground... even if they are hitting on me. The've probably already experienced the same sad epiphany I am now in the middle of—namely, everyone's leaving and my husband and I seem to be the only ones left. More or less.
According to Supervisor Mark Farrell, "Keeping families in San Francisco is important for a diverse city. Having children in our parks and our schools and strollers on our sidewalks is important to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods." Of course I agree with this, but if most people in San Francisco just want us to move to San Rafael with the rest of our friends, how can we survive? How can we make the majority of Baghdad by the Bay understand how important our presence is to the quality of their life here?
Before I got married, I never thought I would have children. Never. I too scoffed at people with strollers and gave dirty looks to those who brought their babies to bars. But now that so many of my friends are leaving town, I wish I could have told my past self that I was going to change my mind about having kids and to be kinder those who were already brave enough to have them in this city.
One of my very few parent friends in the city posted a link to this article the other day. Haters, please read it. And, if you do ever decide to have kids, I promise that I will talk to you at the playground. Just don't leave San Francisco.
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