Over 5.5 years California became my home. Wisconsin was the home that built me, but California was the place where I grew as a person and my KISA and I grew as a family. It’s where our careers flourished and our dreams grew. It’s where we saved every penny we had to buy an expensive home from dirty hoarders and then continued to save every penny to make it a home and an investment. It was the home I paced around for hours, doing laps, on the evening of April 10th as I went into labor. It’s the home we brought HR to from the hospital, realizing we had no idea what we were doing and no local family to guide us. It’s the home where HR took his first steps and soon ran laps around the same circular layout I paced in the evening I went into labor. It’s the home he spent every other week in with his best friend, Iggy, and second mom, our nanny, living a second life and a second language outside his parents.
It’s also a home that in a few years HR may not have memories of, outside of the pictures he sees. It’s a nanny and best friend he may not remember. It’s a life he’ll struggle to recall, regardless of how great or foundational it was. Yet, that doesn’t seem to stop the guilt of tearing him away from the familiarity he has learned and the second family he loves. He’s not going to understand that it’s all for him – to be close to a set of grandparents and have access to some of the best public schools in the nation. Or to realize the sacrifices we’re making in our personal lives and our careers to make this happen. He’s two. All he’s going to know is that he misses his best friend and nanny and can’t understand why he can’t get in the car to see them. His heartbreak is my heartbreak, but maybe if I pretend to be brave he will be too.