I haven't written in ages, because after my last post, the husband and I made several life-changing decisions. He took a job in Northern Virginia, and on April 2nd, we left our beloved Brooklyn and traveled 225 miles Southwest to settle inside the Beltway (i.e. in the DC suburbs).
It hasn't been the easiest of transitions. I've gained weight (a lot less walking), the husband has been stressed (he has to take the Va. bar), and the kids, especially Elias, miss their close friends ("I don't have any playdates anymore" E said the other day as two boys from his new preschool got into a car together). On the plus side, we have more space, plan to buy a home before the end of the year, and live just a mile away from a dear friend -- not that we see her family nearly as often as we imagined.
It's been a HARD eight weeks. It's been the kind of eight weeks where the mere mention of anything New York-related can and usually does lead to my tears. The other day I was watching "Law & Order" and thought, "What the hell have we done?" We've given up H&H bagels for cheapass, wannabe Einstein's Bagels. Instead of street after street of bistros, diners and divey but amazing ethnic restaurants we have a dozen franchise eateries and maybe three truly worthy restaurants. And what about my tribe of Brooklyn mamas? I didn't have, as the tweens say, a BFF, but at least my kid could have a playdate, and I could have a girls' night out with any number of neighborhood friends.
I feel displaced, and I fear that until we buy and truly settle, I'll continue to feel uprooted and even resentful. For the first time in a long time, I feel alone. I call my mother every day. No, it's not like I feel clinically depressed, but I'm pretty lonely. I love my children, and they're great fun, but sometimes I wish I could just meet someone for coffee or talk to about Michael Chabon's new book or take an exercise class with... The people we know here have their lives, their friendships, their communities. We can't just ingratiate ourselves into them.
Recently my best friend growing up came to visit her brother-in-law who's at Walter Reed, which is a mile away from us. I only got to see her three times, but each moment was such a blessing. It's amazing how uplifting being around someone who has known you and loved you for three-fifths of your life can be. After she called on her way to the airport, I went to the bathroom and cried.
And yet... if anyone asks me how we're doing, I say great. What else am I going to say? What else do people, even friends, really want to hear?