Far More Bitter Than Sweet

7 Apr

It’s been nearly a year since my wife and I began to entertain the idea of moving from Dallas back to Boston. Although I was completely content with my life in Texas, there was always a part of me that wished I was still living in Massachusetts. It was my REAL home. The greatest place on earth. The place where everyone I knew lived, and where my heart would forever reside. Ultimately, I always felt it was just a feeling that would inevitably pass with time. Then something unexpected changed my view on why a move back to Boston was no longer wishful thinking, but a necessity. My kids.

It had been a couple of months since the first time I had actually touched on the subject of moving back to Boston. In the nearly 3 years that we had been in Texas I had always joked around about it, but it wasn’t until I began showing my wife pics of houses for sale in Massachusetts, that we actually began talking about it. Actually, I think I was the only one talking about it. She was just listening. However, one day, after taking her to lunch, I pulled back up to her office to drop her off, and made another comment about the idea of leaving Dallas. At that moment, she made it clear that she was done listening. We were not moving back to Boston, and I needed to just get over it. Ouch!

In the days that followed, I began to think that maybe I was just being selfish, and was only putting my interests first. It wouldn’t have been the first time. I think everyone can make bad decisions, when driven solely by self-satisfaction. All we can hope is that we have someone in our lives, that we trust, to help point out the error of our ways. This seemed to be the case here. Then one night, everything changed.

We were sitting in the living room, on a Saturday night, having a couple of drinks. The kids were asleep, and we were watching a movie….The Time Travelers Wife. For the record, not bad for a chick flick. It was about 20 minutes from the end when it happened. A scene in which the 2 main characters are in the kitchen with their daughter, making dinner. The daughter turns and looks out the back door and says, “Look, it’s snowing.” As she runs to go outside, you can see that it is dark out, and the flood light is making every single flake glow as it falls to the ground. I look at my wife and make the off-hand comment, “It’s too bad our kids will never be able to experience moments like that.” I didn’t mean it to be anything other than a wise-ass remark. It certainly wasn’t the first time I had expressed my thoughts on how lame the holiday season in Texas was, and how bummed I was that our kids would never have the true winter experiences. However, this night was different. For the first time, I realized how I really felt about things, and that it wasn’t just about me.

Without describing the nature of the conversation that followed, I think my wife finally understood how much better I felt things could be for our family in New England. I’m not sure she completely agreed, but it was apparent that she was at least willing to re-open the discussion.

The weeks and months that followed had many ups and downs as it related to the idea of moving. We discussed many options, but as of this past January we had decided to renew our lease, and couch the topic until 2013. However, through a series of events, we completely changed course and decided that we would try to make it happen this year. The only true difficulty in this decision was the fact that I had a job opportunity that would require me to be back in Boston by April 1st, and therefore I would have to leave my family in Dallas until my wife could find a job. It would likely be about 3 months before that would happen, but we thought it was something we could handle. Now I’m not so sure.

While I was spending all my time trying to get anything and everything in order for my wife, before I left Texas, most importantly Skype, so we could talk every night, to help make the transition easier on the kids, I was convinced that she would inevitably be the one having the most difficult time with this plan.  Having to manage an already busy lifestyle without a husband around to share in the duties, seemed like a difficult task. Breakfast, daycare, work, dinner, tubby’s and night-night. As any parent knows, it’s a lot of work.

Meanwhile, I would be 1700 miles away, in my hometown, with all my friends and family around, and no real responsibilities. Just get myself up everyday, get my tail to work, come home, eat dinner, watch tv, Skype with the family for 10-15 minutes and then go to bed. Sleep late on the weekends and hang out with the people I have not seen in years. It really was a little unfair, but a seemingly necessary decision in order to achieve the ultimate goal. At least I thought so.

Today marks the 10th day since I have been able to hug my children. It is a seemingly simple activity that we did 10 times a day, which means I have now lost out on 100 of them. It is one of a dozen mundane things that take place in the course of a typical day in every family. Although it’s not the first time I have gone a few days without these experiences, this time is different. I’m not visiting Boston, I’m living here and I couldn’t be enjoying it less. I no longer think that my wife got the short end of the stick. I would gladly trade places with her tomorrow. I would rather be running myself ragged to keep up with my kids, than to be away from them another day. It is killing me more by the minute, and I am really beginning to question whether or not I really want Boston this badly. I’m not sure I do anymore.

Ultimately, I have no idea what the future holds for my family. One thing we knew going in was the fact that if my wife could not find a job by the summer, that I would just pack up the car and go back to my job in Dallas. The real question is whether or not it’s worth it. Do I just suck it up and stay miserable for the next 3 months because “IF” my wife finds a job, and we make the move, it will all be worth it, or do I just chalk this all up to a failed experiment and get my ass back to my family? Only time will tell. If this pain continues, that time may come sooner than expected. Stay tuned.

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