In a conversation with my dear friend Liz, she suggested I view our "big decision" not just as a new chapter, but as a new book complete with a shiny leather-bound cover, ready to be written. This new book will take us 3,700 miles across the country, back to where the "magic" started for Tom and I...Seattle.
The decision to move is the culmination of much angst on both our parts for what we'll likely agree was the inevitable...not so much returning to Seattle, but leaving Miami. Sure, Miami is home to golden sunshine, bright blue skies, sandy beaches and cafecitos on every corner, but unfortunately, it's littered with too many loud, rude, and dishonest people who love it here too. Most importantly, you'll never meet a parent who will tell you "it's a great place to raise my kids." Miami lives up to its reputation as a glamorous party city and certainly a "great place to visit" -- and that's how I want to remember it. As a family, we feel Miami comes with a price we're not willing to pay anymore. Truth is, Tom and I have been leaving Miami since we got here more than 6 years ago -- my mother's failing health bringing me home 12 years later. I'll never regret the return since my mom passed away 6 months later and I was by her side in those final days.
Over the years though, Tom and I toyed with the idea of moving several times, and a couple of years ago were certain we'd head to Nashville where my best friend lives. But, the stars didn't quite align, and as much as I hate to admit it, subconsciously I don't think I was ready. But then, bad came to worse: we lost our home in this lousy real estate market, the next house was ransacked and robbed of most of my jewelry and family heirlooms, and my poor husband was ousted out of one too many high-pressured jobs, even once by a celebrity chef he once admired. To say it's been a bumpy ride is an understatement, and it's high time to get off the roller coaster.
A few months ago we put the topic of moving back on the table. The debate always centered around three places -- a prerequisite for consideration was the availability of a support system -- Nashville, Philadelphia or Seattle. Tom started pushing for Seattle, and although I'd been afraid of the dreaded rain and the distance (from my peeps on the east coast), I remembered there really was lots to love about the area, not the least of which is Tom's family. Seattle is much more "civilized" as a city, and it's generally a place where people actually care about their city and their neighbors. At Christmas, Lucas and I took a trip to Seattle (and I stuck my proverbial toe in the water). We enjoyed lots of family time -- Lucas saw snow and went sledding for the first time -- and he came back unable to talk about much more than Seattle, his nanny, and his cousins, Brendan and Kellen.
Looking back, I feel as if though the moment I opened myself up to the possibility of Seattle..."BAM" some cosmic force took over and things started falling into place in a way I could have never predicted. Tom got offered a job he's very excited about and is leaving on Thursday to start as food and beverage director for Pineapple Hospitality on February 6th. I've been networking with parents of kids with Down syndrome to get insight about the schools and the community and have been reconnecting with old friends to share the news.
No matter how many times I say it, it still hasn't fully sunk in...Tom is leaving FOR GOOD and I'm going to be a single parent for the next three months. Luckily, we have tickets to visit Seattle over Lucas' spring break (which also happens to be my birthday) so that will help break up the time. My family and friends have promised to pitch in and I will take them up on it. I haven't left yet and I already miss the people and places I love most about Miami...I look forward to getting reacquainted with them all.
Stay tuned for the adventures ahead!