Thursday, April 24, 2008


I can hardly even think right now.

We will be moving.

Sometime in the next 6 months we will jump the river.

I knew this when I enrolled L-- in a school in Hongqiao. I chose the only school I felt comfortable with for my child, and I am willing to live with the consequences.

Those consequences are moving. For the 2nd time within a year. This alone is hard enough. I've been in our home for 6 months now. Over the last month or two I've really begun to feel like I know what I'm doing. Like I've figured out how to shop and where is kid friendly and who is around when we're free and how to live happily in this place. And now we will have to do that all over again. Our friends will be a 30-45 minute drive away rather than a 5-15 minute walk away. In many ways, this really will be like starting over.

In some ways, that is fantastic. We will undoubtedly live in a more exciting part of town. Within walking distance we will have new parks, classic Chinese architecture with typical Chinese families living in it, loads of fantastic restaurants. From that standpoint, a move will be great. Each of the apartments we are considering have wonderful locations, and good views to boot. Our housing allowance will necessarily rise, which could buy us a nicer place as well. Probably not more space, but certainly higher floors. This is all good. This is all great.

But so many things we will be giving up. We will no longer have access to an outdoor pool. Or enough grass to have a picnic. We will leave the riverside parks, perfect not only for their beauty but also for their stretches of grassy space where our children can play without being mobbed by Chinese tourists.

I have watched poor L-- draw more and more inside of herself, partly due to the strangers approaching her constantly on the street - no doubt that will be worse after we move. But also because she has no 1 or 2 adults who are constantly in her life besides Dave and I. None of my friends show up so regularly that she is completely comfortable with them. Just as I'm trying to remedy that, to build a strong and regular community around myself and my children, I will have to pick her up and out of these people and drop her amongst strangers again. The same problem applies to myself. This is a lonely task, moving with young children. Especially moving to a city where most people do not care for their young children, but rather outsource that care to playschools or ayis. I have a skill for making friends, but when I'm the only person in the room with kids at my ankles it becomes much more difficult. It took a long time to develop a network of women who care for their children themselves in Lujiazui. I am not looking forward to developing that network again.

But lets think this through, faithfully and rationally.
- I do believe that sending L-- to The Wonder Center is the right choice. I am entirely confident in this decision.
- I do realize that we must move for her to attend this school.
- I do recognize that we will move to an expat neighborhood, and that her school lies within anothe expat neighborhood.
- I do understand that it will be easier to meet people when I bring along only 1 child, especially when that 1 child is social S--.
- I do recognize that having done this once, I now know better how to make myself comfortable. No doubt I will feel at home quicker in our new home than I did here.

All of these things are true.

Further, I do have faith that the Wonder Center is where God wants L-- to be this fall. If I can have that faith, than the faith that must follow is that He wants us to move and will make sure we live somewhere we can survive. Don't get comfortable, He must be saying to me.

That's just the challenge, isn't it? I'd rather like to get comfortable here. Its really difficult to live uncomfortable for an extended period of time. I'm ready for this to get easier.

The dirty of the situation is that we have to find someone to take over our lease. Our landlord will search, our agent will search, and we will search. Undoubtedly, we will find someone. This means showing our apartment while we're living in it. It also means moving as soon as we find someone to take over the lease. That's at a moment's notice, sometime in the next few months. That includes finding a new apartment as well as packing and getting into that new apartment. Probably all will happen within the span of a few very short weeks. Showing our house for sale was difficult, and it is not with eager anticipation that I look forward to showing our apartment for a quick turnaround.

My apologies for the rambling stream of consciousness. I feel its better to get this thought process recorded, but in my current frame of mind it wouldn't have been written well.

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