Car rides to and from Defiance to visit my family give Paul and me plenty of time to talk. That's especially true when the kids are sleeping, as they largely did on the 5-hour round-trip drive this past weekend.
As we made our way to Columbus, I thought about how nervous Edith used to be to visit my parents. It took her a while to warm up to Grandma and Grandpa and leave our side. She's most definitely not like that now. She can't wait to rush into the house, and she cries when we leave for home.
Atticus has none of Edith's old reservations. Is that a byproduct of his demeanor, or is it because he saw them earlier and more often than Edith, who lived 500 miles away in New York as an infant? Of course, we'll never know for sure.
Sunday evening, on the drive home, Paul and I speculated on where we would be now if we would have stayed in New York. He thought we would have been lifelong renters. Our old Bay Ridge apartment, while significantly smaller than our current Columbus house, would have had sufficient room for our family of four. I think we would have eventually settled on a condo for a few years, anticipating that real estate would continue to go up and selling after a few years to upgrade. We agreed that New Jersey wouldn't have been out of the realm of possibility, but Staten Island almost certainly would have been.
I wonder if I would have been even more of a homebody, considering the pains of getting two kids dressed for the outdoors, descending from a third-floor walk-up and living largely without the use of a car. We probably would have started using a grocery delivery service, and maybe even gotten our laundry picked up and dropped off.
Who knows? These types of discussions make me a little sad, reminding me of the things I'm missing in New York. But recollecting all of the inconveniences of big city life (groceries, laundry, parking, SO MANY STAIRS) shines a spotlight on how good we have it in Columbus. Not to mention, of course, that our kids are growing up really knowing their Ohio grandparents. So I'm content.