On Monday my son’s adopted NY public school had a Halloween parade.
When I first heard that we were having it I assumed that it would be around the
school grounds like in Hawaii. Then the informational flyer came home from
school outlining the .75 mile route that would take the kids out of school,
across the main road and through the town of Orient. I would point out that the
road being closed, the road that runs right in front of the school, is the only
road to and from the end of the island. Closed at 2:00 p.m. on a Monday in both
directions so the whole of Oysterponds School could parade through town in
their Halloween costumes. I have to admit that I loved it. It was pretty surreal with the police and fire department blocking the road and loads of folks out on the sidewalks in
town waving and cheering. It was one of those moments where I realized that I
live in a place that people would want to raise their kids. A place with loads
of open space surrounded by water, with lots of local agriculture and wildlife
within driving distance to the one of the greatest cities in the U.S. Of course
there are drawbacks but it really offers a lot of things that many families are
I thought about it today, that I could live here. I could live here for
sure under different circumstances. If I had my own space and transportation.
If I had an OK job. But mostly, only if they built a Taco Bell closer than
Riverhead…..oh wait, that’s not it. Really, only if Keanu moved with us. If we
were all here, trying to make it work as a family, it would be completely
doable and potentially enjoyable. Even if the house were freezing we could all
snuggle under the blankets. It would be fun. We would likely have less money
but we would have more of other things; things that I really like. Time; space;
less stress. It could be nice.
After elbowing our way into the existing lives here in NY we are
getting ready to vacate. My son’s school is sad that he will be leaving them.
They have been infinitely amused by him bringing the books that he has authored
and distributing them (one went to the first grade teacher and one went to the
music teacher.) The book that went to first grade was read to the entire school
by the principal during morning assembly on Monday. He is looking forward to
seeing his friends at his school in Hawaii. I only hope that he can transition
back as easily as he came to be comfortable here. I am feeling anxious about
going back to my old life. I have vague memories of what it is like to be a
fully responsible and independent adult and while most of my being yearns for
those things, it is still making me nervous. I am hopeful that my son and I are
able to slip back into our Hawaii lives effortlessly. I hope that our time in
NY has taught us lessons about what we value the most and that we remember this
forever. This has not been easy, it has not been pretty but in the end we will
all be able to say that we did it. We gave it a try; this crazy unconventional
living arrangement that, if it were not ending this month, would have had to be
ended anyway in order to save us; our sanity; our family and ourselves.