Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I’m even feeling better about the house we bought in Toronto. I’m not convinced that we will live there forever, but at least I feel like I can move into it now (earlier this week I was scanning house rentals, so this is a huge step for me). I’ll give it at least a year.

Pack it up; pack it in

In one week the movers will be here. (Mental note: call movers to confirm.) Reality is setting in: in one week, we won’t live in Ottawa any more. I am sadder than I ever thought I would be about this change of events. After two years of feeling trapped here, after hating the suburbs and this car-dependent life, after bemoaning the unfriendly nature of this city, I am shocked to realize that we built a happy, connected life here. Not that it was easy, mind you. Our neighbours are our friends, and I hope we stay in touch. We have a little group to hang out with at the park after dinner. And even though I still hate getting in my car every single day, I appreciate what the suburbs have to offer. It’s quiet here, and I don’t mind it anymore. We have the best babysitter ever, and we will miss her. I have friends – not terribly close – but there’s a connection that goes beyond just having young children. It’s a good life, and it’s a life I think I could lead quite happily if we had to stay here.

So why are we leaving?

Because HS’s job does not require us to be here (and that’s the reason we moved in the first place). We can have all the things we have here (except a roomy, 4-bedroom house with double garage and 2.5 bathrooms, of course) in Toronto. We can rebuild the happy, connected life we had before and have our families close by. We can live in a city that supports a career for me too. We can have more of a balance in our lives, because for all that we have here, we are alone in a lot of ways. I don’t look at moving back as failure or running away from an unhappy situation. We are choosing this. And as hard as it is right now, it will be better for us in the long run. And while I have some reservations about raising Charlie in a big city and the move back to a busier life, I know going home is the right thing for us. I can hardly wait to go biking along the boardwalk. I want to walk Charlie to school on his first day of JK. I want to call my sister to see if she wants to go the gym, or a movie, or even coffee fer cryin’ out loud, just on the spur of the moment. I want to go back to school. I want to go to book club. I want to work part-time in an office and wear my nice shoes. I want to have another baby.

So it comes down to this: Ottawa, I do love you after all. We will visit. I will think of you fondly and remember that this is the place where I learned a hell of a lot about myself, where I overcame depression, and where I became a Mom. I will miss you, and that’s ok. I can miss you and still know I’m making the right decision.


The berry patches are open, so get out there and get picking! Our local is Dekok Berry Farm, and we got three quarts of ripe, sweet berries yesterday. Charlie has become surprisingly adept at picking, so we filled our basket in no time. I’ve already made strawberry shortcakes (just add Bisquick biscuits and spray whipping cream!) and strawberry smoothies. I’m also planning a nice strawberry and goat cheese salad (with toasted almonds of course) and perhaps a strawberry-rhubarb pie so I can use up the pie crust in my freezer. And I feel all virtuous in that 100-mile diet kind of way, that the only carbon footprint from these berries was a five minute drive from my house to the farm. But I suppose I should take my bike next time.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Two weeks

In two weeks, we will be packed up and moved out of this house. We will be living in Toronto. We will take possession of a house that I do not want. A house that has caused no end of stress and turmoil for the past three months. I know it's just a house. I know we can sell it if we need to. But we would take a huge financial hit if we did. All of our hard-earned equity would be thrown away. I hate it already, and we haven't even lived there yet. I don't know what to do. I hope that when we get there things won't seem as bad as they do right now, because bad and uncertain things tend to get amplified in my obsessive brain. I will try to make it a home for us. I have promised HS a year.

This move is tearing us apart. It was supposed to be the right thing. It was supposed to be like going home. But nothing about this move has been easy, and everything about staying in Ottawa seems easier in comparison. I know a lot of this is just transition, and moves are huge stressors, and things will be better once we are settled. Right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Curse you Ottawa!

Oh Ottawa! How could you? How could you seduce me so completely just as I am about to leave? You were so cold and standoffish for two years, and now you have clutched me to your bosom. How could you make me love you? I hated you for so long! I clung to Toronto, my other great love, and I compared you to her, and you always came up short. But now, you make me question my decision to leave. You offer so much: large, affordable houses without significant levels of lead in the drinking water! kind, friendly neighbours who will watch my child and have us over for dinner! warm nights perfect for playing frisbee at the park! quiet streets with young families! everything within a 20-minute drive! even the bad traffic is still traffic that moves! ARGH! Stop being so wonderful! Don't make me miss you!