On the way back to NJ from a week-long trip to Virginia, I had 6.5 hours to think—to think about the reasons why I chose to move to NYC, the reasons that kept us from moving back to Va. and ultimately, how parenthood has changed everything about all of the above.  My feelings that are lingering from our trip parallel a memorable dialogue between Bob and Charlotte from Lost in Translation.

Bob: It gets a whole lot more complicated when you have kids.

Charlotte: It’s scary.

Bob: The most terrifying day of your life is the day the first one is born.

Charlotte: Nobody ever tells you that.

Bob: Your life, as you know it… is gone, never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.

I’ll be honest, I could’ve done 2 or 3 days in Va. and would’ve been done.  I say it all the time, but packing our lives up and putting things on hold isn’t always favorable, especially when it involves leaving Jeff behind.  But, as always, I thought “doing the right thing” was the right thing for us too, when in fact, I know better for next time.

It’s complicated, you know?

Jack enjoyed his time with my parents, my younger brother, his cousins, Jeff’s family and a few friends.  (a much lighter picture post to follow) But truly, the every month trips back and forth has worn on us—on our family.  The time, effort and expense it takes for every trip has become such a hurdle, especially when we come back feeling so emotionally and physically drained.

When are you supposed to put your own family’s needs first when you’ve always been expected to appease others?

Like our parents did before they started their own families, they set off to find their way.  In search of a “better” life, more opportunities and a place to settle: we’re doing, in essence, what they’ve done. But along the way, somehow gestures and words create complication; things that we cannot change, but instead, learn how to accept.  Language barriers, cultural barriers, generational gaps and difference in opinion all come to mind right about now.  Some call them growing pains, others simply write off as negativity.

It goes without saying that I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough in anticipation of returning back to our “normal” life.

Greeted by the flickering NYC skyline, the clammor of trash trucks and the coziness of our tiny apartment, I was so glad to leave one kind of chaos behind to replace with our own blissful craziness.  Just Jeff, Jack, me and our teeny tiny apartment filled with lots of love.

A few years ago, we’d visit back home and we never wanted to leave.  Life is predictable, safe and comfortable there.  Of course we’d like to be closer to family, but we’ll continue to pave our path with our little family in mind—it’s a brand new ballgame now.

Without risk, there will never be progress, and we’re going places, baby.

And just like that, a kid changed everything.

Again.

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