We’ve made it to Tampa after an amazing vacation with my entire family in Hilton Head, SC (more on that coming soon.) I’ll be staying with the kids this week at my parents house while MacKay is back to his regular routine.
I took a drive by myself to our old neighborhood yesterday. It all felt so familiar yet so foreign at the same time. While I was living there on my own with Harlan, I’d make the frequent visits from my parents to our house. They were the only ones close by that could easily help with Harlan. And I needed their help a lot.
All of these memories flooded my mind. How I felt so overwhelmed as a new mom while trying to juggle a teaching job and my husband being hundreds of miles away. I’d lived in Tampa for years prior to having Harlan, but those are the memories that are still so vivid in my mind. The ones of me coming home from work completely exhausted but insisted on getting some quality time with Harlan. The ones that had be up late at night trying to thaw breast milk and wash and prepare bottles and food for the next day. The ones that had me eating a microwaved dinner by myself at 10:00 at night while Harlan slept three feet away in her portable crib.
I drove past the nursery that we used to go to to get plants for our yard. It was our weekend outings to this place to pick out herbs, vegetable plants, and annuals that would help fill our yard with some color. I smiled as I saw couples doing the same thing.
What would our life have been like if we stayed?
I drove MacKay to the airport yesterday evening and I couldn’t help but get a glimpse of our life nearly six years ago when we did the same drive every Sunday. MacKay would fly into Tampa for the weekend to spend time with me and Harlan and then we’d drive him back on Sunday evening to go back to NYC for work.
I told him I took the drive by our old neighborhood and how everything still looked so much the same as it did six years go.
“What do you think our life would have been like if we stayed here?” I asked him.
“I have no idea,” he responded.
“I’d probably still be teaching,” I replied.
“I have no idea what I’d be doing,” he chimed in.
I honestly don’t know what he’d be doing either. Our lives are so much different than they were six years ago. The move to Manhattan has proved to be such a fruitful one.
I do miss our days in Tampa. I miss being close to my parents. As the kids get older and become more attached to them, it gets harder and harder for us to leave when we visit. Avery cried last time we were here because she didn’t want to go back to Connecticut. She loves her time with them. I just wish it could be more frequent than it is.
I miss teaching and the friends that I made while there. I loved getting to leave just a little imprint on the lives of the children that I was blessed to have in my classroom. And to be able to see the amazing young men and women that they have become.
But although I miss all of those things, I know that our life worked out the way that it was supposed to. This blog wouldn’t be here if we didn’t move. I wouldn’t have this community that listens to me when I need it. That gives me advice when I need it. And that understands the ups and downs of this journey of motherhood.
These past six years have brought on more growth and change (for the good) for both me and my family than I’ve experienced in a lifetime. We’re happy.
While it’s nice to take a walk down memory lane and think about what would’ve been. I think it’s even better to reflect on what has been. Because what has been our life for the past six years is just what should’ve been. Perfect.