So we thought New Jersey would be our last stop in the search for home—you know, that place that just feels right, that place where you cannot imagine being anywhere else. Well, it wasn’t. In fact, three years ago this weekend, A., M., Pumpkin, Moo, and I moved from the sleepy town in Jersey to Manhattan.
Our first apartment had a kitchen that was minuscule and had roaches and mice (Rodents wig me out) but on paper it sounded awesome: a duplex with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and outdoor space. We lived there for two years until we moved to our current apartment in a doorman building, (Our broker was excited to finally find an “adult” apartment for us.) which we adore.
So, on our third anniversary of being New Yorkers I feel lucky to live in a place where I feel I should have been my entire life
After being in the Midwest for nearly two and a half weeks, Baby A and I are home. We’re sleeping in our own beds with our friends (his, stuffed; mine, purring) and in separate rooms. And now, it begins—resuming our schedule. So far, he has woken up at 5 AM and slept most of yesterday. I took a two hour nap yesterday and could barely keep my eyes open past 10 PM last night. While all of this is a bit of a PIA, traveling is worth it.
During those 17 days, Alexander was surrounded by people who loved him (and it wasn’t just M and me). He played with other kids for hours. He experienced snow, played with puppies and ate boxed mac n’ cheese. All things that don’t happen in our home. He laughed and laughed and laughed. He made others do the same. And now that we are home, I miss the family, the cold weather, the impromptu dinners, the conversation and the constant playing. I’ll try to keep up with my son’s insatiable appetite for play that was fulfilled by numerous cousins these past couple of weeks. Luckily, I know I can keep him laughing.
I’m sitting in a sparcely furnished two bedroom apartment on the west side of Los Angeles. City views surround me, traffic hums on the street below me while helicopters hover above and the air is cool. I’m home.
We recently moved to Westwood after stints in the suburbs and Phoenix. This neighborhood isn’t new to me though. I spent ten years in this area—during college, during my first marriage, and during my divorce. I’m not sure what it is about these tree-lined streets that makes me so comfortable. Yes, it can be noisy, the traffic can suck, and the parking is scarce but despite all of this, I love it here. I feel like I belong; that this is where I’m supposed to be.
And it probably is. In the week that we’ve been here I’ve driven my car three times (to LAX and to the recycling center, not really walkable destinations; the third was to Target and it is just too far to walk). Baby A is getting used to riding in his stroller and the Baby Bjorn multiple times a day. [Editor Note: I don’t like to drive.] Even though summer is here, I’ve been able to wear black and not feel like the member of some Goth band. In addition, we experienced a typical week in Westwood—ran into celebrities, witnessed a host of protests and heard the helicopters covering a news story (Unfortunately, it was the death of Michael Jackson)—though it doesn’t seem normal for most areas of the country.
What’s more: My family is happier. M. is doing a job he loves. Baby A is sleeping more (it could be all the fresh air). And while Moo and Pumpkin are still getting used to the city noises, both are eating better and socializing more. So maybe it wasn’t just me who felt out of sorts and needed a different energy around her.