Next week my dear friend Rachel is moving to NYC. It’s her third move in about 8 years all to support her husband’s career as a doctor. His work took them from Miami to Tampa to Boston and now to Big Apple City. And when his stint in NYC is up in a year, who knows where they’ll go next?
When I think about her life, with all the opportunities she’s had to live in new cities, part of me is jealous. All those chances to experience new things, meet new people, make more friends. But another part of me wonders if I’d ever have it in me to do the same thing. Rachel’s first move took her from her mom, dad, brother, nanna Esta and lots of other important people in her life. And since then, she hasn’t lived within 200 miles of her family.
I, on the other hand, got about as far as Arlington – did that for a year – and moved back to my home town of Waltham. (They’re about 3 miles apart.) I even lived with my parents while I went to BU for a bunch of reasons including money, but mostly because I knew at 17 I was nowhere near ready to be on my own. Even when I was, at 21, I didn’t go far. Now I live 1.5 miles from my parents, 2 miles from my brother and 2 miles from my sister. My other sister is in NJ. (again, that’s a story for another time.) My husband’s family is just one town over in Newton. So, we’re never more than a 10 minute drive from our immediate families.
While on our honeymoon, Lorenzo and I talked about how great it would be to live somewhere, or really anywhere, in California. Our time would be our own. We’d build a life and family from scratch – just the two of us. Nobody stopping in unannounced. Nobody waiting for us to visit. We’d have the mountains, the ocean, the culture, and you can’t beat the weather. But what would we be missing? Well we wouldn’t have my mother’s sauce on Sundays. No Carbone family nights on Monday. We wouldn’t have sleep overs with my niece and nephews. No puppy play dates with Romeo. I couldn’t just pop in like I did last night to see how my mother’s hydrangeas compare to mine and have my dad trailing behind us threatening to pave the whole yard. I couldn’t just pop in like I did over the weekend to see how my sister’s thighs compare to mine. We’d miss all those things. And to me that’s a lot.
And then what would happen when we, like Rachel and her husband, have a child? Who would force feed them pastina before they were ready? Who’d teach them to curse in two languages? Who’d sing all those creepy Italian kid songs that I still don’t know the words to? Who’d teach them to make knives and other artillery? (Actually, that part maybe they could do without.)
So, there’s still that part of me that’s envious of Rachel’s move. The walks she’ll take with Ava in Central Park. The shopping at Century 21. The proximity to Tasty Delight. But there’s a bigger part of me that’s glad to be just a stone’s throw from the people I love most.
Readers, what do you think? Close to family? Far from home? Which is better?