So being away from my family is quite a struggle at times, especially when it comes to my nieces and nephews who are the most wonderful people you will ever meet. Ever. This past visit home was truly heartwarming and I was only home for a week so there wasn't even adequate time to have the normal bored to tears phenomena that usually occurs after long stays and/or the holiday season. Compounding the heartache when I was getting ready to leave, were the comments of my 6-year-old niece Grace as I tucked her in on Christmas night.
"Tete," she says in this tiny little voice. "I don't want you to leave... I don't want you to live in New 'Woke' City."
Heart breaking. Shattered. Into tiny, jagged pieces. What a mess.
"Well, Grace," I fumble around for words. "It's alright, I'll be back to visit you soon!"
"No," she insists. "I want you to be here when I wake up. Will you be here when I wake up? I can't go to sleep unless you'll be here when we wake up."
Now, I ask you this, what is an appropriate answer to this small bundle of goodness and light? Do I lie and tell her yes, I will be here when she wakes up? Is 6 too young to set her up for a preview of disappointment? Or do I crush her warm little heart with the truth, mainly that I have chosen to live and work far, far away from all of my known relatives for what surely she might see as self-centered motives? (i.e. career advancement, partying, drinking, spending, drinking... etc etc.)
There's just no easy answer. Then it makes me wonder, do I really want to move home subconciously and I'm using Little Gracie as my excuse? Or will the grass always be greener in Ohio if I'm in NY and vice versa? If the grass is always greener on the other side, then why don't we continually switch sides and satisfy our primal urges*? Why are we taught that side-switching (and I make no sexual references here) is a waste of time? Maybe it's the right answer!
(Note*: Now I speak strictly in geographical terms here people, not wife-swapping, political party flipping, gender re-re-assignment, and the like.) - These topics are for another day...