As I stood off the deck to our home, I thought, “Is this where we should be raising our children?”
It’s hard to believe we’ll have lived in Auburn five year come September. I figured we’d last three and move on. Because that’s what we’ve done in the past. Maybe head north towards Seattle or further east. Maybe back to Woodinville where our first three kids were born.
But each month it becomes more difficult to leave. Our kids have made friends. They love their teachers at school and church.
Whenever I consider moving away, reasons not to flood my mind although they seldom have anything to do with me. How could we find another piano teacher who reaches Luca like Mrs. Bird? What would Kim do without her best friend who lives next door? Lincoln and Anna have already moved around three times in their short lives. How would they handle yet another?
There’s a peacefulness that comes from staring out over the yard from the deck. Rain droplets hit my skin. The misty kind that deceive you into thinking you can’t possibly need a jacket.
Tall slender trees dot our property line. I watch as they sway in unison to the gusts of wind moving through our neighborhood. I notice that one tree is dead. Instead of swaying with the others, it just stands there as each wind gust tosses dead branches to the ground. Kim told me it was dying two summers ago. But I wasn’t in a hurry to remove it. Who knew how long we’d stick around?
This deck is where I come to think. The kids are down for the night and I don’t have to worry about mosquitoes feeding on me quite yet. And I begin to realize something I haven’t given much thought to: this is where we are raising our children. I don’t know if this is where should be long term. But we are here today, and I’d be wise to spend more time with my children than concocting scenarios where we might be happier.
Just like the kids, I too have made many good friends. I’d miss playing basketball and racquetball with them each week. I’d miss the twisty road leading up the hill from the valley. I’d miss Frugals fry sauce. I know I’d miss chasing Kai as he rode his toys around the cul-de-sac.
I’d even miss our neighbor down the street who collect swords, but shares books with my daughter. When Luca told him she’d left her backpack containing the third Harry Potter book at school over the weekend, he delivered his copy to her a few minute later.
I don’t know how long we’ll be here in Auburn. But I’m not going to worry whether it’s another five, fifteen or fifty years. Whatever we do, I’m sure our kids will adapt.
Maybe it’s time to remove that tree.