Thursday, October 29, 2009

Debby Downer Misses New York

Let me explain...

So if I let any of you down by not giving more details on why we up and left New York two months ago, I apologize. Todd and I have a tendency to make decisions pretty quickly. Like our children's names. Some people sit and ponder and fight and change their minds over and over up til the day the kid is born, but not us. We pick our names as soon as we think we've conceived and bam that's their name for their whole life. Kind of scary, but that's how we do it. It's not that we don't put thought into our decisions, it's just that once we make up our mind, we like to get it done.

So back to New York...When we moved there last year I remember thinking, I'm never going to leave this place. It was magical to me. Central Park was dreamy. The storefronts were inspiring. The mailman became our closest friend. The street noise below put us to sleep each night. I really was in love. The Fall in New York City is just how it appears in the movies. It really is something.

I remember telling Todd how afraid I was that I would never want to leave that city and I was afraid because that had not been a part of my life plan. I married Todd KNOWING we would raise our kids in Southern California like a surfer boy and his sun-worshiping wife should do. That was the plan. Boston for 3.5 years was a total stretch for us, but we did it and came to really appreciate the New England way of life, so different than what we had been raised with. When Todd was offered his job in New York City it was almost laughable. We just thought, we are not going to fit in at all there. But it was an adventure for us and we said we'd do it until it didn't work for our family anymore. I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be our forever, but did not think it would be as short as it ended up being for us.

The reason we left New York...well...for those of you who came and stayed with us for any amount of time, I think you KNOW how crazy it was in our apartment with the boys. Our apartment wasn't the smallest NYC apartment out there, but it definitely was not big enough for the energy of my 3 boys and all the stuff they require. Chase, as many of you know, slept in the closet the whole time we lived there so we had enough space for all the other necessities of life. They were loud, they were needy, they were cooped up, and their parents did not have a million (if that's even enough) dollars to put them in preschool and all the cool NYC classes offered to kids there. I think that's the only way to live sanely, comfortably, and kindly in NY. You really have to have A LOT of money.

Todd ended up being on cases in other cities most of the time, so it was me and the boys most of the time. Which doesn't sound that bad right? Well, you add a neighbor below you who wants you dead because you have 3 kids, an outrageous rent, and a 24-7 daycare and it equals a Mommy on the Verge. I honestly think I was beginning to go crazy near the end. I thought it was the winter and that everything would get better once summer came and we could be outside more, but the fact of the matter was, I still had a baby that napped twice a day and it was a TON of work getting all of us out the door of our building and back in. I think what I'm trying to say is that it was really, really, really hard. Being a mom is hard. Being a mom of 3 (or more) is even harder, and then forcing it all into our apartment was maybe just asking for it.

I think Todd saw that I was slightly going insane and so when the option came to move back to Boston because our renters here couldn't stay in our home it seemed like a way out of some of the misery we were putting ourselves through.

I'm making it sound like it was pure Hell. But it wasn't. Even up until a week before we moved we had conversations about how much we loved it and if we really wanted to leave. It was a tough decision, dare I say tougher than naming our kids? Yes, I dare. In the end it felt right.

So we did. And now, this week I am doubting. I literally tear up thinking about what I gave up. And maybe it's just the time of the year. Or maybe it's all the blogs I've been reading about NYC trips. And maybe I'm really lonely here in Winthrop. Maybe I just want to have a normal family where Todd could be home with us during the week. I don't know. But I've never been homesick for something like this except for when I was a freshman in college and I called my parents every night begging to leave BYU and just wanting to be back. I'm feeling that way about the city and I wish I weren't. I wish I was glad to be away from it, from all the painful days it put me through, from all the mean old ladies who frowned upon my laid back parenting, from the old radiators that clanked through night and heated our apartment like an oven. But that is not the case, and I don't quite know what to do with myself.

In the end, this has been a good move. My boys are happier. They have a backyard to play in. Although it has more dirt than grass. They can run across the street and play at their friend's house. We have over double the living space. I have a car. We can afford preschool for Ben. There definitely are good things. But selfishly I wish I could be in New York. Ron, I think you were right.

This is a downer post. I'm bummin' and I don't want to go clean up the kitchen.


turleybenson said...

(Now THAT'S a styled family photo!)

It makes me sad you miss New York so much. You're right, I think you do have to be super rich to enjoy it right. I bet you'll be back there in a few years, livin' it up.

In the mean time, I hope Boston grows on you again.

Ming said...

I know how you feel as someone who loved the city, but is now in suburbia. However, when you get down seriously remember the times you were going crazy in your tiny space with all those kids. I only have ONE and I can't imagine having stayed in the city. Partly because my apt. was seriously 500 sq. feet, but still. The on and off the subway. Strollers. Coats, hats, gloves just to get a gallon of milk. Plus, Boston is amazing! And you're SO close to the city. You and Todd could take weekend trips anytime! Trust me your life is good. I do validate having Todd gone all the time though. That would just suck.

On a happier note that new family pic is amazing! Such a BEAUTIFUL family!!! Love you!

Jaime said...

Damn you NYC! I hate the way it more or less tatoos you and somehow ruins you for every other place. You can't help but compare it, even though you know you're likely a lot better in many ways living somewhere else. I like you, though our sojour here would be grad school only, and now, who knows! Just embrace it is fun to love and hate NYC. Wanna stay at our place when we go out of town?

Watts Family said...

What do you mean "3 or more kids"? Do you have a secret to tell? Ha, ha! So, having been one of those visitors who stayed with you at said apartment in NY, I have to say that you did one heck of a job as a mom to those cute boys. You were constantly trying to do fun activities with them, and I think that you did the best with what you had. You are awesome, Ash and I love you! By the way, you look HOT in your photo!

Adam said...

I feel like I need to remind you how happy you and your boys were when you were down in SoCal last time. Remember the "I just feel like I am a better mother down here" comment. The East Coast can have you for another year or so but then you need to come home to the good life in SoCal where your boys will learn how to surf, there is a skate park in every neighborhood and the only time you will be rounding up gloves and snow hats is when you go to Big Bear for a snowboarding session. Just had to put in my plug, we miss you guys, cna't wait to see you soon.

darcie said...

nyc is like hawaii. if you've grown to love it, nothing will replace it. it's too unique. but i seriously can't comprehend how moms do it. i go insane in our 1100 square foot apartment because we don't have a yard. but we have tons of close parks and fresh air and little traffic and a garage and i only have 1 kid!

Janelle said...

I know the feeling. While we were living in DC, all I could think about was moving back to NY. Then, when we moved back to NY, all I wanted to do was move back to DC. Just give yourself a year. It takes a year for any place to feel like home (even if it has been home before).

maWeesa said...

wow, i really think this place will make you go crazy ... loving it and hating it.. but selfishly, i think you should move back so i have someone to sit by in RS!

Lillie said...

At least you have it in your history. I wish wish wish some job could have led us somewhere interesting in the beginning of our marriage when it would have worked. I thought you got married and moved whenever and wherever you want to, until Ross built a business that-- stays in the place you build it. Dang it. And I realized we are sort of stuck. At least within a radius. At least you did it for a while! The convenience has to win out eventually for any mom that wants to keep her wits. Good luck.

Are you blonde again? lovely. either way really.