Something's happening. Something I didn't think could happen, and then something I didn't want to happen. But there's no denying it: we've been living in the Yakima Valley for two years now and I am officially Attached. More than simply tolerating life in the valley, I'm finding that I really do like it in a lot of ways. Love it, even. Don't get me wrong, we'll still make our way back to Western Washington one day. It's just that when I think of that day, there's a whole lot of sad mixed in with the happy. I'll actually miss the hot days (although maybe not the really hot days), the exposed rock in the landscape, the vineyards rolling back into the folds of the hills, the cow smell. And for now, I'm content to live here, within walking distance of the places I've now become a "regular," close to friends that I suspect I'll still know when my children have moved away.
I blame the house. How could I not love a place that's my very own, even if it were an absolute hole? I pour my heart into this little haven. It might not always be clean or cool or quiet, but it's where I want to be when I'm someplace else.
I blame Geneva. Her life began here, and everything she touches is saturated by my love for her. When we leave, we leave the door we carried her through on her first day home. We leave the floor where she took eight prancing little steps on the same day we rushed her to the hospital with croup. We leave the ever-mucky windows where she peers out at the world and calls her kitty home. We leave home itself.
I blame the people I adore. We chose to look for work in Yakima because we have family here, and although my idealistic vision of semi-weekly visits is laughable considering we all have young children and busy lives, it has been wonderful to be closer to them. Getting to see Geneva run and play with her cousins (for all intents and purposes) is a joy I don't think will ever get old. And then there are new friends, people whose presence in my life has completely shaped my experience of parenthood so far. When I feel overwhelmed by incompetence or utterly baffled by the creature I call my child, these friends are the ones who gently let me just talk myself sane again. When I experience even the slightest victory, they are there to celebrate with me. And-- coolest of all-- our families are knit together by our babies' fondness for one another.
So you see, I'm Attached.