Eight years ago this month my husband and I were fervently trying to find the “right” place to buy a home in DFW. Tom and I had never been to the state before his job offer. Both of us were born and raised in Wisconsin, shared a brief stint in Northern California together in the mid-90s and returned to our home state for a decade of six-month winters before the Texas offer came our way.
We didn’t have any friends or family in Texas. Outside of Tom’s coworkers, the only person we had to guide us in our search was our real estate agent. She happened to be from Southlake, so we spent the four months looking at homes in the Carroll ISD area. At the time of our search Tom was already knee deep in his new role, living in an apartment close to his Arlington office and I was trying to sell the house and hold down the fort with five kids in the middle of a l-o-n-g Wisconsin winter.
During the handful of times I flew down to Dallas to look at homes, I left the area feeling it lacked our vision of what we wanted our family life to look like in Texas. At one point, and of his own volition, Tom expanded the home search to include Lantana and Flower Mound. Just like today, back in 2007 each were growing extensively in both residential and commercial arenas.
We ended up landing in Flower Mound. A lot of our decision had to do with my reading D Magazine‘s annual article on high school rankings. I know there are probably more analytical ways to find a new community, but both Tom and I were anxious to find a place to settle four of our five kids into. Schools were obviously important, so was home value, proximity to Tom’s office, crime rate and local amenities. The usual items important to raising a family today.
Shortly after we moved to Flower Mound, an article was published (again in D Magazine) about Southlake. Maybe you remember it, the cover had some football players and cheerleaders on it. Essentially the article was about how special and above it all the people of Southlake were at raising winners.
I was never so glad in my life to have given up our search in Southlake. In fact, that article bothered me so much at the time, I wrote to the editor. My letter was one of several published in the following issue. But you know what? I’ll bet there are plenty of really nice, down-to-earth, hard-working, consciously parenting folks in Southlake, Texas.
Just like there are in Flower Mound. And Coppell, and Lewisville … and anywhere else in America.
Recently our town has been the focus of local news and social media which is really just a passing blip in the information super highway we now call life. However, it is a wake-up call that as residents we have a choice, no matter what town we live in, about how we’ll present ourselves as individuals and as families [in word and deed]. I believe what we need to keep front and center is knowing our kids learn what they experience, just as we did while we were growing up. Therefore concentrating on what makes our community strong and welcoming to all, instead of tearing one another down, creates the kind of atmosphere everyone desires to live in.
Am I wrong? As they say, be the change you wish to see!
Kimberly Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five and author of “My Mothers Footprints: A story of Faith, Calm, Courage, Patience and Grace.” To see more of her work or to contact her, visit www.mymothersfootprints.com.