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  • Here we live in this house. It's not our dream house, this suburb is not our dream suburb. We don't know our street, they're almost total strangers. There are other families, but those parents are gazing elsewhere too. For them and us, this little cul de sac is a mere stepping stone to somewhere else, somewhere that matches more appropriately our middle class expectations.
    We're all gazing enviously towards the inner city. Is this why nobody really says hello? Because nobody wants to admit they live here?

    We thought we would move, but bank balance realities crept in. Along with that came the thought, 'what if this is it?'
    Not unlike the other day, when it dawned on me, regarding our kids: 'This is their childhood!' This place, these days.
    While we imagine an elsewhere, where life will finally begin properly - it's happening now!

    So I remember to embrace the here and now, and be grateful, though it runs against the grain of our times. Are we all just gazing elsewhere? Watching other people lead the lives we want to lead, and mortally wounding our own, with every jealous thought?

    We take small steps in both directions, unsure still what to do, and what options we might have. We give eggs to our neighbours. We look up real estate. We research the local schools. We ponder the logistics of a sea change.

    The thought that a better life lies waiting, elsewhere, might be true, it might not. I think of my kids and want more for them than what we have now, but too, I don't want to succumb to the 'never enough' sickness of the age. And what kids actually want and need, and what parents think they want and need, are often poles apart.

    It's funny that when we decided, my wife and I, that we couldn't afford to move, our joint reaction was relief!

    The life we imagined is not the life that is happening. Realizing that is like a little death, and there is grief for what was imagined, but amidst that, excitement and a small sense of liberation. We are freed from our own expectations, culturally acquired, and permitted to just be. Maybe this is the year we let ourselves put down roots.
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