We’ve been back in Philadelphia a little over a month now. While I didn’t expect this—we’re still adjusting and unpacking and, from the looks of the boxes all over the place, we will be for a long while. I shouldn’t be surprised as I don’t make any Herculean effort to unload the boxes what with, together with Evan, cleaning, cooking, feeding, and playing with the girls. I just rewrote that sentence from “having to cook, clean” to what it is. In reality, I don’t have to cook or clean or even play with the girls. All of that can be bought. You can have someone clean your house and you can order take-out or bring your family to a restaurant and even hire a sitter to spend time with your kids. The one thing you can’t (or maybe I wouldn’t) do is offload taking care of sick kids. That’s something that I would never do unless I absolutely had to. I want to cook and clean and play with Sophia and Eliza because I LOVE doing it. But I digress. The point is that after having been in Philadelphia for a month, we have no regrets about making the big and rather expensive move.
I was thinking about our lives now and thinking back to what they used to be like the last time we lived in Philadelphia. Back then, it was just the two of us. I was already working and Evan was finishing up his Ph.D. We lived in the same place and yet it felt infinitely larger and almost always immaculate. I felt like we were both incredibly busy with work and school but in reality, that busyness is nothing compared to the new normal, the new busy. Our home is busting at the seams with all things toys and kid-gear. We are “on” which means up, functioning, ticking things off the to-do lists from 6 AM until 9 PM at which point even TV watching can at times seem like an exhausting and daunting task. What’s more, my life, much like is the case for all the other parents, is a series of lists—groceries, to-dos, work things, and planning/packing lists. The latter has been banished to the furthest corner of the universe since we no longer have to stay overnight when visiting our family. Amen.
During our previous tenure in the city, I also didn’t have this blog and that is something I regret. I very much enjoy the outlet that this space provides me and in turn reward the readers with stories of our life, our everydayness. One day, many years from now, my kids will hopefully read or at least page through the blog and see what I was like when I was younger or even their age. Perhaps they will find the that me (the now me) is someone they can relate to or understand. If anything, they’ll see what their lives were when they were little and the choices we made to ensure that they grew up in a home filled with love, with great food, with family close by and surrounded by their cousins and grandparents.
Looking at the mirror, I see a much different me. I look older. I no longer have to squint to see some fine lines and even wrinkles. I am thankfully not graying but look tamed and steadier none-the-less. The last few years have made me realize that life has a way of teaching us that we’re none-the-wiser, that we don’t know what is yet to come and that we shouldn’t judge or say “when I am [in the same place you’re in…]”.
And so we have come full circle, we are in the same place—literally—where we were living 4 years ago and our life couldn’t be more different. Not just different, but better because of the choices we have made, to embrace and enjoy the chaos of the every day.