I feel a little more sane since my last post. Part of that was the therapy of writing about it, part of it the amazing and heartfelt comments, and a lot of it is the fact that this week is spring break. For me, this is a week to actually pull my weight around the house. I can clean. I can cook. I can check things off of my mile-long to-do list. I can meet my husband for lunch, and after dinner we can have a conversation without a half-graded stack of papers between us. It’s not exactly a relaxing week, even when I drop Maggie off at daycare for a few hours, but sometimes a sense of accomplishment is so much more satisfying. (Though I have to admit, I’ll be disappointed if I can’t fit a pedicure in somewhere.)
However, this post isn’t meant to be about spring break. It’s supposed to be about family- not the one I’ve chosen to build with Matt, Maggie, and the new baby, but the one I didn’t choose- the one I was born into. You see, this past weekend we took a quick trip to see my sisters, brother-in-law, and nephew in Brooklyn. My parents also arranged to drive down from upstate New York, so we were all together again- seven adults and two children happy and cozy in a 900 (or so) square-foot apartment.
|Cousin bath time!
(Taking advantage while it lasts)
There’s a song by The Head and the Heart called “Rivers and Roads”, and one of the lyrics has really been hitting me lately. It says: “Been talkin’ bout the way things change/My family lives in a different state.” I grew up within twenty miles of both sets of grandparents and the vast majority of my 8,000 cousins (a slight exaggeration…it could be more like 6,732). My husband had a totally different experience. His parents met in college and chose to settle down in Illinois because it was a mid-point between their two families, who were located in Iowa and Indiana. Because he knew what it was like growing up with no family nearby, we thought quite a bit about where to set up a home and raise a family. As much as we loved St. Louis, where we met, it simply wasn’t an option. Family was the number one priority, so it was decided: we were going to upstate New York or following his parents to South Carolina, where they had built a house and would retire. When we found out that Matt’s dental license transferred to South Carolina with no additional tests or residencies, that was it. We were moving south.
I feel confident that we made the right decision. Everything has fallen into place here in Anderson. We are about a 35-minute drive from both Matt’s parents and his sister, who moved here last year to be closer to us. That means built-in babysitters (not a privilege to be abused, for sure) and family holidays that we don’t need to pack for. Matt’s dental practice couldn’t have been a better fit, and he has quickly become a familiar name around town because of his involvement in church, Rotary, and numerous other volunteer organizations. I FINALLY got a teaching job close to home, at an amazing arts magnet school. We love our house, our neighborhood, and our church, where we have made many friends that we will have for life.
|Rare time with two grandmas|
|My mom is just barely holding
it together before she has to
get in the car and leave.