Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Am My Own Conundrum

I am a mother, a wife, a failed housekeeper, a disgruntled non-vegan, a reader, a procrastinator, a polyamorist, a writer, an urban-homesteader, a future ex-pat.

I am a fringe A.D.D.-er, an advocate for my son's "special needs," a "special needs" detective, a sugar addict and a frequent consumer of chocolate, cheese and olives.

I am a wannabe living simply seeker and a not-so-closet book junkie that wants to travel many places for long vacations involving rat-race jobs to fund them and foreign oil guzzling, carbon foot-printing airplanes to take me there.

I want to hang my clothes to dry and raise chickens and rabbits and knit and write on my idyllic farm and take my dogs running on my land, but I also want no responsibilities and to live in a little cottage across from a city park with a container garden on my porches and have gatherings at my home amongst friends.

I want to move out of the country and escape my husband's job where I rarely see him with its unpredictable days off and long days with no set closing time or lunch hour, to a place where the cost of living is low enough that our jobs keep us together in goal and spirit and commitment, rather than apart.

I want to move out of the country for the excitement and new challenge and for new writing fodder. But I don't want to because I'd miss Starbucks decaf mochas and my writing group and Bhangra dance lessons and Bikram yoga and No Shame Eugene Theater group.

I'd miss the friends I've finally made -- the ones that take longer and longer to make the older I get.

I'd miss my dogs that we might very well have to leave behind if we left.

I don't want to move because what if there isn't a school that I would touch with a ten foot pole for my kids. Before, I'd just say I'd home/un-school them, but I feel done with that now. I don't feel I have the energy, my attention is strongly diverted to my writing right now, and Robert's needs suddenly seem beyond my scope of expertise. But then again -- if we moved, it would be likely that Paul would be more helpful with the children and engage with them in ways that I wouldn't, haven't, or won't. And a friend brought up that maybe in another country, where they treat their children differently and award them different station, he wouldn't have special needs. Maybe he'd blossom into who he really is.

I also don't want to move because of my daughter. She's a teenager now -- even though she's only eleven -- and walks around with her iPod earbuds in, trying to shut us all out and she hates moving. Despite our long times at each of our two Eugene homes, she's necessarily had to move schools and daycares for various reasons and she remembers each kid that was important to her from each school (all the way back to her preschool daycare.) And she cries about them and misses them to this day.

We've finally gotten her back into a school we should've left her in all along and it'll take her through middle school. So I really don't want to move her out of that and even if we plan and wait for the three year mark (until she's out of 8th grade) -- many of her friends would be scattered to different high schools anyway, so maybe the loss would be diminished or at least not added to it - but then Robert's schooling would be interrupted mid-middle school.

So I can't win there.

But maybe, again, if our family were planning for the next three years to go, and Robert all along knew that he'd be moving the summer after his 6th grade year, maybe it wouldn't be a big deal to him.

I love the idea of our family all working together towards a common goal, like all of us learning Spanish together. Not that I've ever wanted to learn Spanish, but ... you know what I mean. And I'd like the idea of all of us making decisions based on our future move.

Paul and I are going to start researching other countries this year. We'll be taking a scouting trip to Costa Rica this fall, and I'd like to add Scotland, Ireland, Wales, New Zealand and Australia to the list.

France has intrigued me for years and Italy, too, but Paul doesn't want to learn a new language. Party Pooper. I mean, half the reason to move to a foreign country would be to learn a new language and immerse yourself in their culture!

Yes, Costa Rica is a Spanish-speaking country, but if we ever did move there, we'd most likely join a sustainable community full of expats growing their own food. So maybe no need for Spanish.

But there now. Paul would chide me for thinking too far ahead.

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