So maybe we’re halfway through February. Resolutions aren’t a one-time thing, they need to be constantly evolving and reaffirmed if they’re going to work even a little. Especially mine, which is a resolution times twelve.
Life has begun to solidify again into something like its new shape–the children adjust and adapt to each other, we all learn to fit four puzzle pieces into the box, I return to writing and reading and we make plans for summers and winters to come. I wouldn’t say we’re “settled”: Nu-nu still wakes multiple times to nurse at night, the kids are not yet sharing a room, we’re both still crapping out with exhaustion at 9:30 each night and LG has yet to watch both babies (awake) for more than an hour or two. But we’re evolving to something like restabilization, feeling like all four of our wagon wheels are firmly on the ground and pulling together.
But pulling…where? That’s the question that feels increasingly imminent. We’re outgrowing our little box. The toys run rampant, the floors squeak under Smudgie’s racing feet as he rushes from one end of his little apartment to the other. We’re constantly fidgeting to make a small space fit more and more, but there’s a limit to how much matter one can cram into a finite space and we’re testing those physical maxims to their breaking point.
Sometimes I think about a house in the suburbs with longing (a basement! a garage! a second bathroom!), which worries me. It’s never a good sign when an inveterate New Yorker begins to ponder if life in New Jersey really wouldn’t be that bad. Other times I feel recommitted to our city existence and the countless, infinite benefits that I know it will bestow. (As I mentioned to Mandski the other day, when she and I were discussing this issue, I’ve never heard a grown-up city kid ruefully wishing their parents had moved them to Princeton instead of New York).
Then when I think about the fact that my job could compel us out of the city I feel sad, like our time here on our urban adventure is coming to a close.
But…what’s the good of sadness over what might or might not be? Instead, I made a resolution to enjoy the time we have here in Brooklyn, whether it’s another two years or another twenty. Every month, I want to do something special and NYC-centric with our kids, to introduce them to new neighborhoods and activities, cultural institutions and events. These don’t have to be grand or expensive, but they do have to be something our of our ordinary routine.
At the bottom of this post, I’ll update with a list of our events and adventures, keeping a wonderful record of our city life so far. I hope this turns out to be as much fun to read as I hope it will be to live!
January: the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights (posts forthcoming!)
February: the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (planned for next weekend!)
It’s so hard to plan when we have no idea where we’re going to be. Good for you for embracing where you are now. Look forward to living vicariously through your adventures in your amazing city.
It’s so hard to know where we’re all supposed to end up, isn’t it? I struggle with this often. Good for you for taking advantage of your environment whenever you can…
I was just thinking about what you said earlier today. So very true.
I admire that you’re getting out into the city! I am totally up for going out with the girls around here, but man am I reluctant to leave the neighborhood. Good for you!
That’s a really good point about grown up city kids not wishing they had moved. At least two of my city born friends grew up in one bedroom apartments – with sibling(s)! So surely we can do this right? Still grateful we have no real urge to move or leave the city.
As for adventures, since I was working weekends last semester Rob and Simon did lots of exploring and taking advantage of city things. Some of the places they went were the Zoo; the Intrepid; the carousel, hot chocolate, & throwing rocks in the river under the Brooklyn Bridge, and there is free kayaking at the Long Island City Flea Market. As a family we did the Aquarium and rode the Wonder Wheel.
Looking forward to seeing where you decide to go – I need more ideas 🙂
While I wasn’t in the same situation–a husband, kids, etc,–I did feel that same sadness over potentially leaving city life behind after living it for so long on my own. I miss it (terribly), especially more so because Charlotte just isn’t anything like Philly, where I lived for so long. But I also absolutely love being able to kick the soccer ball with H on our front lawn, or climbing into my car with the windows down when the weather’s nice, etc. I think you’ll find that the transition to suburbia, though dreaded, may actually be a really wonderful thing :). The city is just a train ride away :). xoxo