Today was a perfect example of why, in spite of missing my parents and East Coast friends, I’m happy with our life situation here in the Midwest.
Allow me to explain.
I had to go to Chicago for a meeting this morning. I had to leave at 6:30, which meant I didn’t get to see Maya wake up and give her her milk. I took a pic of her sleeping, tush in the air in froggy pose, and headed out.
I was in my company’s Chicago office, overlooking Lake Michigan — a good 2.5 hours away from her — when I got a call from daycare that she was running a fever. My first thought was, “Oh @#$@#” because since her febrile seizure last November, we’ve been on high alert and daycare has been awesome about being on top of it. They said it was only 100 degrees but that they’d give her some infant Tylenol and keep an eye on it. I gave Luis the lowdown and 20 minutes later he told me they’d called him — it had spiked to 102 and he was leaving right away to go get her.
When he got her, she was red and lying in her Infant Room teacher’s arms, just snuggled up and barely moving. He said it was awful 😦 No parent wants to see their child so frail and sick, and she had been just fine all weekend. She does have a double ear infection (even with tubes, you can get ear infections–but it’s treated with ear drop antibiotics vs. an oral antibiotic) but has seemed happy and like her usual self. But in the pics he sent me, she just looked terrible.
Anyway, after I wrapped up the things I needed to in Chicago, I drove back, eager to see my peanut. She was happy to see me, which of course made me happy :). But she’s still feverish and so we’re alternating Tylenol and Advil, per our pediatrician’s advice, and going to wait it out. She can’t go to daycare til she’s been fever-free for 24 hours so I’m guessing I’ll need to work from home tomorrow.
I share this story because today was a reminder of how good life is here.
1) Daycare is 5 minutes from L’s work and 15 minutes from mine, so in an emergency either of us could be there very quickly. We love our daycare and love how they’ve been so great about keeping an eye out for Maya’s fevers.
2) Daycare is 5 minutes from home, and home is 5 minutes from our pediatrician. We love our pediatrician’s office. They have an on-call doctor 24/7, 365 days a year. Can’t beat that!!
3) We both work for great, family-oriented companies where we can telecommute if need be on occasion. L was able to go to nearly every prenatal doctor’s visit as well as Maya’s well-baby visits.
4) We have amazing friends who would do anything for us, and have; friends that have become our family since moving here in 2006.
Yes, of course I miss my parents/siblings and my friends in DC/NJ. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss urban living and my life in DC — taking the metro to work, doing the Express crossword puzzle and grabbing Starbucks on my way into the office in heels and a power suit, shopping in Georgetown, walking past the White House on my way to work, living in (IMO) one of the most important cities in the world, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in walking distance to nearly everywhere I’ve lived …
But when I have those pangs of longing for DC, I remember that I had that life; it was my “single,” 20-something life. That life wouldn’t feel right now, married with a family. And for all I loved Washington, I don’t miss the traffic; don’t miss the chaos; don’t miss the shlepping required to get anywhere. I also don’t miss the cost — DC is NOT cheap!
I can’t imagine what urban life would be like with a baby. I know people do it; I have plenty of friends who do; clearly, it can be done. I just can’t fathom it now, not after life here in a moderate-sized Midwestern city.
I don’t know where we’ll be in two, five, ten years. But wherever we go, I’ll try to keep in mind how I feel today: how, for as difficult as being far away from so many we love can be, we have a really good quality of life here. And that counts for a lot.
In a perfect world, we’d live this life on the east coast. But if I had to do a cost-benefit analysis of my life — our life here — I think it’s safe to say the benefits far outweigh the costs. Not all day/every day … but on the whole, that’s how I feel.
Which reminds me … thank goodness for airplanes and Skype!! Without those two inventions, I don’t think we could live where we do.
How about you? Do you live close to family or far from family? Are you happy in your current location?