We came to DC as a temporary compromise between my hometown of Chicago and his hometown of Boston. As the years passed (or, in DC-speak, as administrations came and went), we found lifetime friends, bought a condo, and adopted a cat. We planted flower boxes full of geraniums. We fell in love with our friends' babies. Then we bought a house. We grew leggy tomatoes. We had a baby of our own, and I navigated those foggy first months of motherhood with my new mommy friends. We found babysitters and preschools, and then we decided to have another baby. We planted sunflowers, put in a strawberry bed, and airily dispensed advice about local restaurants and mortgage brokers and plumbers.
Though I joked about whether the girls would eventually cheer for the
Cubs or the Red Sox (and secretly coached them to "Root, root, root for the CUBBIES"), my roots grew deep here. I started to say we'd be
in DC forever, duking it out. Greg, working long hours and struggling
to get home to see the children before their bedtime, was less personally established even as
his career took off. So he was receptive when a headhunter called him
about a great-sounding opportunity in Boston. Several months and interviews later,
Greg grew excited about the possibility of moving. Sad though I was that I/Chicago didn't win out in the end, I agreed the new job made sense on paper. We have good friends in Boston and tons of family. We didn't like flying back and forth for every family event on both sides, and both of us wanted Greg to have a better work/life balance. (Or a work/life balance. Or at least, to be at a place that acknowledged the life part of the equation.)
After much agony and gnashing of teeth, Greg finally gave his notice today. There's a "For Sale" sign in our front yard. Yet I can't quite grasp what's coming. I mark the girls' growth against milestones embedded here. "There's the slide that Rosie couldn't climb last year." "This is the same table where Buzzy had her first ice cream (technically, frozen custard) cone at the Dairy Godmother!" The usually taciturn cashiers at Whole Foods gushed over both of my flaxen-haired babies. Today, they gravely conversed with my big girls about the free samples. The girls, too, have staked claims: "That's the park where Ryker fell through the tire swing!" "Dat's where da Lincoln Memowial is! I wan' climb steps!" "I see the Washington Monument! Are we by Daddy's office?" "I wan' GO IN 'Bama's White House."
Driving down the Mall yesterday on the way home from our dear friend's
house on Capitol Hill, I was sure that were completely crazy to leave
this accessible children's paradise. There's the Botanical Gardens, where we visit the trains every Christmas and like to pop in to see the orchids. There's the Smithsonian carousel. There's Natural History, where we can visit and have it to ourselves. And, further along is the Zoo, where we say "pooh-pooh" to the tigers, just like Madeline.
Will they remember any of this? Will I, when I don't walk by the memories every day? (I haven't gotten a lot of sleep over the past four and a half years, so I worry about my memory.)
Buzzy, for one, can't wait to go. Thanks to the Berenstain Bears' Moving Day book and the promise of living closer to her cousins, Buzzy's eagerness to move makes me wonder if the child has an attachment disorder. Though we haven't found the perfect house yet, I do know that we will relocate some time this summer. So please let me know if you have a great house for sale in the Boston area. Or if you know someone who wants to buy a great house in DC. Or even if you have a great recommendation for an adult version of the Berenstain Bears.