|The lobby of K's building.|
Spending the Christmas season in a new, big city has been really exciting! There are a lot of new things to see and new traditions to make. It has been especially fun for me to live near one of my family members again- Adam is just a ten minute drive from us and we love having him over whenever he has the time. We have been to see a bunch of movies with him the past few months, as well as going to see the Zoo Lights together and having him babysit the girls for us. And they are obsessed with him. Completely smitten. He's a pretty awesome uncle.
|Zoo Lights 2012|
Of course, being in a new city has brought with it plenty of changes to our way of life, and not all of them are pleasant. Here are a few things I have noticed over the past three months that have come with moving to Portland:
- Suddenly friends and family members think it's okay to talk about Idaho like it's a well-known fact that my family and I have finally picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and moved out of hillbilly hell. Dear such family and friends: NOT. COOL. Seriously, acting like I should be grateful to be away from that small and, yes, somewhat sheltered place makes you sound like an idiot. Stop talking. I miss my friends and family in Idaho dearly. I miss school. And there is nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with my missing small city life, my big house, my big yard, my teensy Farmer's Market. And, yeah, it's pretty awesome living in a big town with huge everything (libraries, shopping centers, theaters, everything), but that doesn't mean that where I live now, or where you live now or have ever lived, means that Idaho is now the punchline to your jokes. Ugh. So, with all of the love and sincerity I possess, please think before you open your big mouth. Thanks.
- There are really great people everywhere! I have met some of the most sincerely nice and thoughtful people here in the suburbs of Portland. My neighbors are fantastic, my ward is wonderful, Avery's school is great. I hope my family and I will add to the great feeling of friendliness around here.
|Zoo Lights 2012|
- Being a parent feels different in Portland than it did in Smalltown McMormonville, Idaho. If someone, say, in the airport or grocery store in Idaho saw me struggling with two small children, more often than not I was met with extra helpfulness, kind strangers talking with my children, telling me how sweet/cute/wonderful they are (only the truth), and once I was even given a pat on the back and a, "Great job, Mom!" from a complete stranger when I was checking out at lightning speed at Fred Meyer and Carter was crying because I wouldn't let her push the buttons on the credit card machine and Avery was doing the Imma-bouta-pee-my-pants-dance like nobody's business.
Here, I am much more prone to getting looks from Hipsters and Respectable Adults (and yes, those are two distinct groups) alike that plainly say, "Don't you know how to use a condom?", "I'm so glad I'm not you", and, last but certainly not least, "Why in Heaven's name did you leave your house, freak?"
Legit. No exaggeration here.
At the airport last week we were even put into a different line and helped very last of all of the airline's customers, and I am convinced it was because two adults and two little girls with five large pieces of luggage in Portlandese says, "I am Other. Keep far away. Do not help me. Pity me. Pity yourself if you must have contact with me."
It extends beyond the airport, too. At restaurants with our children, who are, I dare say, at least as well-behaved as any five and two-year-old out there, I have to flag down our server for water refills, let alone anything else. They like to give us our food and check and absolutely nothing more.
This difference in attitude makes me laugh more often than not, but it also makes me think about the state of the world in deeper moments- I am sad that choosing to procreate is apparently so looked-down upon! Or at least that choosing to ever dare leave your house with children is.
Again, though, my final thought here is that I would like to be a positive part of this community, especially to other mothers. Mothers here often keep their heads down and are trying to make it though, just like me. But I am going to try looking up and smiling and being kind to other people and their kids when I am running errands. I can do that much. Maybe I'll start a cool new trend, like tattoo sleeves or Priuses?!
- Traffic sucks. Commuting is stupid. How are there this many people/cars/stores? Seriously, traffic sucks.
- Finally, along with moving to a new, large city I have realized that I am not as brave as I once thought I was. And I have whined about this move a lot, when so many act like it is just a part of life. I guess I never had to do that growing up, though. Move a lot, I mean. Every house that I lived in from birth to age 18 are all in a ten mile radius of each other. And I got to be in Idaho for nearly a decade! So maybe it has just been extra-intimidating for me, especially since I felt so happy and settled in our home in Idaho. Changing everything about our location and situation has been mentally and emotionally draining (and growing a human being inside of me hasn't much helped the situation, either), and new beginnings are at the same time opportunities of a lifetime and crap sandwiches. But getting to find out how much friends and family mean with new distance and closeness, making new friends, and growing closer to my husband and children are all happy consequences of taking a leap into new opportunity that came with feelings of peace and hope when agonized over on my knees. So I hereby promise to stop complaining!
Cross my heart.