Your Kids Are Their Problem

Your Kids Are Their Problem


shutterstock_76643413Jason Gill is clocking 80 miles an hour in his green Miata convertible, heading north out of San Diego. The 31-year-old computer software consultant is doing what he often does on weekends — looking for someplace new to live. He hates the idea of giving up his bougainvillea-covered bungalow, with its postage stamp-size patio, one block from the beach in La Jolla, Calif. But three years after he moved in, the neighborhood is not what it once was.

The couple next door have had a baby, and with the lots so close together, Gill — who describes himself as passionately, even militantly, ”child free” — can hear every wail and whimper. The family on the other side has a baby girl and two young sons who used to peer at Gill through the grape-stake fence until he replaced it with a solid redwood one. Now the boys use that fence as a soccer goal, often while Gill is trying to read a book or have a quiet glass of wine.

The teenagers down the block have formed a rock band. The nice elderly woman across the street and the retired empty nesters a few doors away have sold their homes to new owners who are building Mediterranean-esque overstatements where modest cottages used to be. ”And here is the lovely sand-beige palace with a turret,” Gill said in his most sarcastic faux real estate broker voice while giving me a walking tour of his street. ”I don’t know who’ll move in, but you don’t build something this ridiculous unless you have kids.” READ MORE