Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making the right decisions

After G and I graduated college all of 5 years ago we made a decision to apply to jobs all over California- the first job one of us would be offered we'd move and "start" our life together. I was the lucky one to find a job first which moved us to Sacramento, about 2 hours north of our entire network of family and friends. Our parents, no joke, live 49 seconds away from each other- and we were about to move away from all we knew and loved. Why? Well living in the Bay Area is expensive as heck and jobs in our field were few and far between. At one point three houses were bulldozed and 17 (or so) townhouses were built and selling for nearly 700k. How were two recreation graduates (yes, that's what we have our degrees in...recreation) going to afford to "start" a life together when we could hardly afford to live on our own? We made the decision and moved up north. A little over a year later I found myself pregnant with K & A...2 hours away from all my loved ones. We bought a huge house- with a 5% interest rate- and pay what it costs to rent a decent 2 bedroom apartment back home and "started" our life. We were married with two children, homeowners, and each have a decent  great job. I'm living my dream life. 

RW- 20 years ago, my life consisted of playing with my cousins, calling my grandma every night at 9 pm to say good and I loved her, visiting with my Aunts, playing cards with my Uncles. My extended family was everything to me. We celebrated everyone's birthday-every year, we had family dinners, we gathered for no reason, and it was awesome. I spent Christmas Eve with Cousins JN & JM- we even heard Santa's reindeer on the roof one year. We sought after Easter eggs in the backyard, and one year I paid my Diablo (card game) debt with Tower Records gift certificates. I spent the majority of my free time with some sort of family member. It was awesome. My cousins and grandparents meant the world to me. 

FF- present day, I find myself wondering- did we make the right decision? Is having a huge house, no commute worth my children not growing up next to their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents? Is it worth the every other month visit and pain of figuring out where we're going to sleep and arguing about who were going to visit (or not visit...)? Hearing A say, I wanna go to Yiayia's house...over and over and over? Are we depriving our children of their family? The same family that meant the world to me as a child? G's outlook on it is different, he and his brother are "Irish twins" 14 months from one another. His extended family are people I couldn't point out if my life depended on it. Family to him was his mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. 

My girls are happy, loved, spoiled very well taken care of, but are they missing out on the unannounced visits with Crampa and Yiayia? Or swimming with their cousins, or playing at the park with Grandma? They technically won't know any different, but I can't help but feel than pang of guilt every time A wants to go to Gama Wells (G's mom) house or see Cousin Finn. It sucks. Would trying to start over, living in a smaller home, becoming low man on the totem pole in a new union- fearing layoffs each budget term, be the right thing to do? I contemplate it- G says no. Who is right? Probably him. Probably me. Would we ever move back? He says no. I say maybe. Will my kids grow up differently being so far away from their extended family, that it changes who they could or should have become? I do my best to call multiple times a week, visit when we can, spend as much time as possible with them, make four stops a visit to see Auntie & Uncle, cousin here, cousin there. Is it enough? I can only hope so. 

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