Thanks to each and everyone of you who pinged me with your thoughts on geographic relocation. I appreciate your thoughtful comments and e-mails so much. Many of you mentioned that the goods of being close to your parents outweighed the bads, and that encourages me. I also appreciated the wisdom that relationships are ever-evolving... The part of this decision that is weighing heavily on me is something that many people would probably say we should have seen coming. I married outside of both my race and the religion in which I was raised. I married into a culture that is different from mine in nearly every noticeable way. I left the church that my entire family is a part of to take on a new denomination and with it a whole set of lifestyle changes. This decision or set of decisions affects every holiday, every family visit, and myriad conversations Loverpants and I have with our family. I oftentimes find myself envying friends who don't seem to have all these wrinkles to iron out with their parents, who don't need to translate or try to find the equivalent of an aphorism in English with a comparable one in Korean.
But we've all got our bag of nails, don't we? We've all got so much in our family dynamics that require nailing down and which still becomes rusty or unhinged.
One more thought before I close this chapter on the Hypothetical Move -- I don't want to start over. I don't want to have to find out when and where the story hours are and which parents are the ones that freak when you try to share your non-organic bunny cookies with their kid. I don't want to move from my neighborhood where my kid hears 3 different languages spoken on a 10 minute walk to the train. I don't want to be suburban bound. I don't want to be offered a salary below $25K and accept that that is the going rate in other parts of the country for a full-time candidate with a master's. I don't want to move. I want to stay here!
But that's just Kendra thinking about what Kendra wants. What does Baby Girl want? And Loverpants? I'll have to let them weigh in here sometime...
*** A few snaps from our trip to Frankenmuth, MI (sniff sniff! family time!):
I can honestly say that I am now as big as a house. A gingerbread house.
And look at these cuties all dolled up for the Christmassy sabbath!
Visiting our friends Aimee and Aileen in Detroit...
And notice how Curious George still makes it into every family photo?