Monday, February 06, 2006

quality of life: family

We spent the weekend with my parents on the Central Coast of California. We each drove about 4.5 hours before WHOA! we smacked right into ech other. Convienent. We lives 40 minutes away from Nathan's parents. Jacob sees them often. He knows them well and loves them to pieces. I am happy he has such a fun relationship with his grandparents. But it makes me sad that he doesn't have the same realtionship his other grandparents - my parents. We saw my family twice in November, and each time, we had to coax Jake into my moms arms, only for him to go screaming out of them two seconds later. After those incidents, Nathan and I decided to meet up with my parents, who live in Southern CA, at least once every other month. When you drive the short way, it's only 5.5 hours max between our homes. There's no excuse to have less contact than that. What did I love about this weekend? Watching Jake run towards my mom on the boardwalk at the beach, yelling "Maga!" (his current word for Grandma), having Jacob go to my parents hotel room (just next door to ours) and knocking while shouting "Maga! Papa! Papa! Maga! PLAY!", having my mom and dad get excited watching Jacob be Jacob - talking up a storm, jumping, running, talking, dancing, singing, running, and still - STILL - talking. This 24 hours of family togetherness, they all loved each other. Nathan and I were walking along the beach and I turned to him. "I can't leave here." It's not just the beach I long to stay close to. It's the moments between my parents and Jacob (and our future kidlets). One of the reasons I always give when people ask why we're leaving California is that I want to be able to give my children the art lessons and music lessons and soccer and baseball teams that they might want to take - and not have to cut back on food or the heating bill to pay for those lessons. But this weekend, I realized - what's the good of playing on ten different sports teams if there are no grandparents on the sidelines to cheer you on? [side note: Jake just brought me a tape - Wee Sing Fun 'n' Folk - mostly unraveled. He put it in my hands and said "thank you". Sure buddy. Thanks. I knew I shouldn't have returned the Wee Sing CD's to Costco last month!] Now that I've written all that, it's moot, anyhow. We came home and looked for property on the Central Coast - about half way between each of our parents. We still don't want to/can't afford to stretch our bucks that far. Seriously: a run down, 3 bedroom, 1200 sq foot house on 1/10 of an acre for the mid $400Ks? No thanks. Houses we would actually consider and feel comfortable in are in the 500Ks and 600Ks. Given, it's less expensive than where we are now (where similar houses sell for $200K+more), but it's still not acceptable for us.


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