Thursday, October 29, 2015

More Downsizing

Have I mentioned that my mother- and father-in-law are moving here from Ohio?

They have lived in the house where my husband grew up for almost fifty years and are finally ready to give up being homeowners. (They reached their breaking point after the terrible cold and snow the Midwest had last winter.) Their previously active social life is dwindling. FIL says that their friends (a) have moved away, (b) don't want to drive at night, or (c) can't remember that they've made dinner plans. So they're moving east to be near their children, two of whom live in the Philly area.

We are so excited for them to arrive. My kids have not lived near grandparents since we left Washington—more than eleven years ago. I'm envious of my friends who grew up here and have family close by. Growing up, my family lived 4+ hours away from our nearest relatives. I hated that, so I wanted my kids to always live near family. And to be rooted in one place.

I've lived in so many states that it's hard to say where home is. In Massachusetts, where I went to elementary and high school? In Washington, DC, where I had my first job, met my husband, and had our children? In Philadelphia, where my kids have grown up?

(I will say that I feel like I've come home when I see a sign like this one, which are seen at the borders between towns in Massachusetts.)

Not actually from my hometown, which evidently is too small to have its sign in Google images. Source

As for my kids, I think we may have succeeded in giving them roots here. My daughter has lived in Pennsylvania since third grade and is in college in Philadelphia. My son started first grade here—and could end up at college in-state also. (Fingers crossed. He's also considering schools in California, which in theory sounds great—isn't college a great time to explore a new part of the country!—but in practice would be very hard, on his mom at least.)

Having grandparents down the road, along with the cousins who live just across the city, will make Philadelphia even more of a hometown for our family. My fondest dream is to have the kids settle here. I could babysit for them! Between the trips to exotic locales we'll be taking as retirees, of course. ;)

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