why we stay

Who doesn't love handfuls of lip gloss?

Who doesn’t love handfuls of lip gloss?

Does it matter?  Where you live, I mean.  Are you not the same person?  Raise the same children?  Might you become someone else, in fact, if you lived in a different place?  I should hope I would remain the same; hope I would hold the same set of values, following the only parenting instinct I seem to know at this stage in my life.  You see, I always claimed that moving would yield the same life but in a different place.  I have been so insightful and  so wise to guide that “the same problems you have here, you are sure to have someplace else.”  The irony, and of course there is irony, I don’t really know that to be true because I have never made a major move.  This was a topic of discussion earlier today with friends-one in particular, who suggested that moving is sure to offer more opportunity, more serenity, more…well, just more.  We disagreed.  I would desperately miss a night out with good friends and our conversations about the possibility of a life in a different city.  Note* the picture above is of my hands full of Renee’s lipsticks-I raided her handbag for them.

Truth is, we feel most at home when we are lucky enough to have these kinds conversations with friends.  Real friends.  Good people.  The kind of friends you have these types of conversations with.  No doubt there are better climates across the country.  Certainly there are greener trees and year-round gardens to reap.  I would be lying if I was one of those Clevelanders who balks at winter and feigns pleasant tolerance of an April that averages 36 degrees.  However, our parents are a morning’s drive away.  My close neighbors are close friends.    And, while we know children to be resilient and flexible, the reality is, they were born here-this is the life they know, the place they love.

I love this place too. I know I would love to be just about anywhere as long as Cory, Ella, Michael and Lily Fisher are there with me.  That’s not all though.  It takes knowing you have family and friends close by.  A carpool you can rely upon.  A neighbor who can spare an egg or a a stick of butter.  It takes a friend you can have a late night conversation with to remind you that home is wherever you might happen to settle.  Frankly, that’s why we stay.  Sure, anyone can begin again and make new friends, find a favorite grocer, meet and befriend a new neighbor.  Eventually, you find yourself with the life you left behind, with a new cast of characters.  The only hopeful difference?  It’s sunnier.

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