A "brain dump" post to sort out the chatter inside my head.
Lately I've been trying to figure out the track that my family's life is on and where we want to be headed going forward. This past year has been tumultuous to say the least and, as a family, we've been very unsettled. This has contributed to me feeling really stressed and depressed, but we're clawing our way to the end of the tunnel where there is a tiny flicker of light. We're also facing some big changes, but these are mostly good things.
Within a week, the sale of our Portland house will close and I will turn 37.
Within three months we will have need to have chosen a school for Bunny.
A year from now she will be in kindergarten and her sister will be in preschool.
But where will we be?
Let's talk about the house sale for a moment. When you have to reduce the selling price by about $80k, that does alter plans a bit. /understatement of the century. It's weird, it's not like it was real money, but it would have helped us to accomplish plan A, namely buying a house here. Looks like that's not going to possible in the short term. We had to unload the house which we really have come to terms with, and so now we consider Plan B.
Plan B mainly involves the question, "Should we stay in San Francisco?"
We've been touring schools as I've talked about before. We're considering both public and independent schools. A recent panel discussion at Bunny's preschool re-affirmed my belief in public education especially because the speakers were parents just like us. I went to private school for most of my school career barring high school when I just couldn't take the snobby environment anymore and longed for normalcy. Private school in Hawaii is different, however. The state is primarily Asian so private schools are diverse by default. White people are the minority.
In San Francisco the private schools are overwhelmingly homogeneous. Something I'm just not completely comfortable with and neither is J. One parent who spoke on the panel discussion said something that really struck home with me. Speaking on the subject of diversity he remarked, "If you aren't comfortable with a diverse school environment, public school (in San Francisco) is not for you." He added, "You need to take stock of your personal values. There needs to be a "+ mark" in the diversity column for you to send your kids to public school." He's right.
So as we ponder this question, we are also asking ourselves if staying here is the right thing to do. To stay here and send our kids to public schools means the decision is taken completely out of our hands. We're doing our due diligence, researching schools and going on tours, but as was mentioned in the panel, the parent that does nothing and turns in their application on the deadline has as much chance as getting into the "good schools" as we do. Which is as it should be in public education. If we were to move to a city with excellent public schools we'd have more control over our daughters' education and we could trade the money we'd potentially spend on private school and cost of living in San Francisco for other things like travelling or enrichment classes.
This means we're possibly facing yet another move.
I was discussing all of this with my friend Bad Kitty and wondering aloud if we were crazy to do this again. I mean, who moves this much? And why aren't we more "settled" in life? Why are we so fickle and easily-bored by getting "too comfortable?" It seems that most people we know have fairly settled lives and are ensconced in homes where they've been for a while with no crazy moves planned. Their lives are mapped out far into the future. They are content and comfortable.
But us? We're not like that and never have been. So Bad Kitty said, "Maybe that's not important to you."
...and, yeah. She's right.
It's not important to her either, which is part of the reason why we are best friends. Anyone else crazy like us foxes? Please speak up. It's nice to know you're not alone.
It's not that we love moving, but we definitely have adventurous spirits. That combined with being homebodies at heart means that we can make a home anywhere. I think our hearts are telling us, however, that it's once again time to put the kids' needs first. After all, it's why we moved to Portland in the first place. Whoever thought we'd be back in San Francisco faced with the same issues we faced before we moved? Back then moving out of the city was the right thing to do and so we did it. Now, it's the right thing to do again.
So we close the Portland house and finally leave that chapter of our lives behind.
almost 40 37.
We'll move again for 12th time since we've been married, and next year Bunny and Wallie will start school in a new city. (One that's hopefully not too far away from San Francisco.)
That's the plan. At least for today, anyway. But it sounds like a good one to me.