We're constantly thankful for the good fortune in our lives. We're healthy, employed, and loved. We get to live in a village in the middle of nowhere where Ash can run around with horses and goats and chat it up with the hippies at the local coffee shop (for any South Park watchers out there "Mayor West" is a character based on our Town Mayor - just to connect some dots regarding our surroundings). Then we get to live in the city, not quite as often but we're working on that, where Ash can run around with 11 million of his closest friends and chat it up with civil rights leaders at the BBQ joint around the corner (and where there are 2 other adoptive families of Ethiopian children on our block as well as one family where the parents are native Ethiopians and THEY ONLY SPEAK AMHARIC in the home with their children - again, just to connect some dots regarding our surroundings). So which do we call "home"?
Therein lies the problem.
Eventually we need to make a decision that is going to all but solve that very question. Ash will eventually start school, which will demand our residence in one location Monday - Friday until he's 18 years old - and if that location is NOT our Village then do we sell the house? Or, if that location is not our City then do we give up our apartment share? Or, do we grasp on to both for as long as we possibly can and just let reality sort itself out? Nope, not in this case. In ANY other case that would be fine, but this one directly involves one of the biggest decisions we'll make as parents. The one that decides where Ash goes to school and spends his formative years developing his sense of self, his sense of others, and his sense of us as a family. And when I think about that I can't possibly imagine NOT shifting gears and abandoning our Village all together and heading to our City to return to being full timers. But then I consider all we'll give up ($3000 in our Village buys you a 7 acre stone home 1760's estate, $3000 in our city buys you a 2BR and if you're lucky, a functioning intercom system so that you don't have to walk down 5 flights of stairs to let the sushi delivery man in), and I'm stuck.
As much as it may look like it, this is not about our Village and our City and where WE should be. It's about where we need to plan for Ash to spend most of his time, and we're struggling with that. Diversity versus open space. A truly progressive hippie community versus access to nearly every cultural group possible. Apple picking versus subway riding. A yard with a garden versus the Union Square Farmers Market. All white with a little bit of black versus Ethiopian neighbors, and multiple Ethiopian communities within several subway stops from our "home". And it's that last one that gets me.
Wherever we eventually decide to call "home" will surely be the result of endless nights pondering one versus the other, but thankfully Ash is a few years (but JUST a few years) away from starting school so we have some time - at least a little bit - when we can simply call home "NY". If it isn't already glaringly obvious, I'm missing being a full time city rat big time and am just about ready to hang up my country mouse hat... but just when I think I've got it all sorted out I remember my hammock on the front porch, Ash picking tomatoes from our garden, and waking up to say good morning to the horsies. But honestly, right now, I'd trade all of that in a heartbeat for a 2BR walkup with a roach problem. Well, maybe the city itch hasn't gotten quite that bad, but it's getting there, and by the time Ash reaches school-age I'm afraid it's going to be one gigantic pink spot smack-dab in the middle of my forehead.
It may be Saturday afternoon, and the nation may be battling a recession, but you’d never know it from the way the bubbly flows at two dance party brunches in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.
There. All better. The fact that I spent Friday night date night with my toddler at Sesame Street Live, Elmo Makes Music is now balanced by the fact that I'm still a NY Bruncher. All better. Please Gods, no Elmo dreams tonight... see you at brunch tomorrow!