Thursday, January 10, 2008

either way i'm okay

This morning I hosted my first preschool tour for prospective parents (it was lovely and informative) and chatted afterwards with one of the current parents, a cool-cat musician. We asked after each other’s families (he just had a baby, mazel tov), and he asked about Hamish, who has finally climbed out of his clamshell to the point that he didn't even kiss me goodbye this morning, but ran straight outside to play ball with the older kids (I kvell!).

He asked about the status of our move, and how my husband Bryan (also a musician) is doing, and as I began to answer, the tears came pouring out. That cathartic cry I’d been hoping for in my dark lonely moments at home arrived instead in the sunlit cubby area of my son’s preschool. What are you gonna do?

I told my friend that Bryan is sleep-deprived, done with Brooklyn, burnt out from his 9-5, and ready to embark on a new adventure. And me, apparently I’m Waterworks Miller at the mere thought of pulling Hamish out of preschool to move two hours south. Suddenly hostile car service drivers seem charming. Dog shit dotted sidewalks bring out the hopscotching nature enthusiast in me. “Ooh look! That one’s marbled! Orange and green!”

This conflict of interest creates a gap between my husband and me. This is the first time I’ve really articulated my feelings, and we’ve been snapping at each other lately. Of course it doesn’t help that Stella’s been waking at five A.M. most mornings to nurse.

An Atlanta-bred dad I met in the playground the other day, a network analyst, put it plainly that he can’t wait to leave this overcrowded, dirty urban patchwork for greener, cleaner climes, But even his sane anti-Brooklyn argument didn’t register in my brain as I wept to my new friend this morning. Because Hamish’s preschool is spoiling the shit out of me. Everywhere I turn, there’s another artsy, scrappy, down-to-earth, easygoing parent, and I have convinced myself that such people, in such dense numbers, simply don’t exist anywhere but Brooklyn.

But I still want to leave my immediate hood, and I still can’t afford the ones I want, and a check-in with myself upon returning home revealed that I am possibly making a mountain of misery here out of the simple belief that I will feel like a lonely misfit anywhere else. And in a way, I’m okay about it, because I know it’s not supposed to be easy, and it’s a good thing in a weird way that I’m sad to leave, it reassures me that I’m not running away, but running toward, and even if I don’t know the answer now, it’s out there, waiting patiently. The decision will get made with or without my interference, the outcome has already revealed itself in an alternate universe and either way, I’m okay.

Bickering aside, Bryan and I are united as a unit can be, and we won’t make a decision that doesn’t satisfy both of us. We’ve been together what, almost eighteen years. We must be doing something right.


bryan & elise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bryan & elise said...

Wow baby...crying in public huh? It's hard for me too, so you know. I too love Ry's school, I love the musicians I play with, I love a lot about this place. I think we have the same feelings here...what we love about Brooklyn, we really love...but I think that what we really dislike about it here (livable space, daily livability, commute, dirt, neighborhood) is unfortunately insurmountable without making life choices we're really not willing to make. I like the idea of running toward instead of running away from and I believe that's true. You also know that I believe there are people we will like/love in Philly too, it's just the irony that now that we're leaving we're connecting with the so many of type of parents and people we've been looking for since Ry was born.

Hopefully there's something to be said for the idea that nothing worthwhile comes easy. Emotionally, this whole trip is a ballbuster.

bryan said...

sorry about that first deleted comment, I did that, I thought i put it in under the wrong name and got confused and blah.

Scuba Mc said...

Hey 'Liseie. Good to be back in blog world. I'd fallen behind my Pen and the Poop b/c work had put a block on blogspot. So now i've got lots of Miller to catch up on and look forward to!