Sunday, October 13, 2013

A good community keeps you young

Hi Alex and Avery,

When you get older and have kids of your own, you will contemplate leaving the city for the space and greenery of the suburbs.  You will do this because the giant sized kid toys will be taking over your apartment and you will have convinced yourselves that your children need freedom to have fresh air whenever they want it, although in reality your kids will want to stay inside and watch tv, play video games or use the computer rather than go in the backyard.  You will also justify the decision to go suburban because of the schools, the excellent schools!  Before, during and after you make the suburban transition, you will bring up these justifications ad nauseum to your friends who have chosen to remain city dwellers, but in reality, you will be repeating these mantras to quell the fear in your own hearts.

"Will I begin to wear mom jeans?" you wonder (or for Alex, whatever the male equivalent is to 'mom jeans').  Will I feel completely isolated and become utterly boring?  Will I become (gasp), Middle America?

Never fear, my darlings; your dad and I went through all these stages of grief associated with losing our city selves, and here we are, more than six years later, and we have survived.  More that survived.  You see, in fact, we have flourished because while we chose our town for its schools and greenery and houses with basements to hide all the giant sized kid toys, the wonderful surprise when we got here was the other people who also chose this town.  People like us (!), who like to go out and laugh, and have a drink, and be silly, and NOT wear mom jeans (or whatever the male equivalent is), and stay young, and have the cultural context to understand what it means to be Gen X (or whatever your generation will be named in years to come).

It is a good place.  I hope when you are adults that you can find the same kind of contentment, companionship and community in this place that we call home.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Year two of it being just too hard to write during the fall

Dear kids,

Wow! I don't know why, I should expect it by now, but the fall and its routines really pack a punch that leave me gasping for air.

I have always said that autumn is my favorite season: I love the changing colors of the leaves, the weather getting cooler so that you need to grab a sweater in the morning that you will shed midday, new clothes to wear and getting to snuggle in under the covers and night.

Fast forward to being a mom of school age kids and that list changes to: football practice and games four days a week, School of Rock twice a week, Hebrew School twice a week, tap & jazz, soccer, cheerleading, packing lunches, making sure homework is done, making sure forms are filled out and returned, no time to cook or eat shabbat dinner together and in general no time to take a deep breath and just be.

It's also emotional in the fall because there is a return to interaction with sports coaches and teachers and a fierce mama bear (that's me) will do just about anything to protect her cubs and make sure that they are well represented.

I swore I wouldn't be that alpha mom who over-schedules her kids and yet here we are, not because I have pushed you, but because I haven't discouraged you in any way.  It is a full life, for sure, but there is little time to play after school with friends and that makes me sad.

However, if I separate my own feelings and stress from the mix, I would like to share with you that you are thriving, you are happy, you are kids who love school and your friends and your activities and your life.  Your joy is a blessing, it is what gets me through this re-entry into routine.

While I may not write again until at least football, cheerleading and soccer seasons end, please know that this time of year has you both smiling.