Tuesday, November 27, 2007

life is full of compromise

life is full of compromise

If I could find a memory card, I'd scan in another children's book and call it a Tuesday tradition. Oh, I could carry the laptop all the way down to the basement, where the printer/fax is set up, and upload an image directly, but the last time I carried the laptop down to the basement I fell down the stairs so I'm superstitiously going to avoid a repeat, even though I've made countless trips up and down with wardrobe boxes and other random household ephemera. So I'll write about something else. And try to get a book in tomorrow. Compromise.

A few months ago, my water lovin' boy started screaming in a terrified way each time we'd lift him up to plop him in his nightly (or thereabouts) bath. There hadn't been any scary water situations, so I can't really attribute it to any one thing in particular. Maybe a bad dream? Beats me. For a few weeks afterward, he'd tolerate being doused with a sopping washcloth, but he wouldn't get in the tub. We'd fill up the water, and he'd reach over the edge and play with toys, balancing them on the side, and flicking them into the water, but he wouldn't get in. This lasted a few weeks and then, warily, he allowed us to stand him up in the bathtub. And so now he stands. Someone hovers close, in case of slippage; he has a fine time of it, pouring and splashing and dunking. But still, he stands. I have tried to coerce him into sitting, showing him how warm and comfortable the water can be when more deeply submerged. His refusal is adamant enough that I've dropped the idea. The other night, he looked down at the water lapping around his shins and he dropped to his knees and grinned. Compromise.

From the moment we arrived in Phoenix, in August of 2004, we knew we wanted to get back to Portland. The cities couldn't be any more opposite from one another, in climate, in aesthetic, in inexplicable vibe. Certainly there were happy times and things we loved and appreciated about living there. New friends made. Favorite restaurants. Cheap thrift stores. Swimming pools. The smell of Sweet Acacia. It is a wonderful place to visit, but it never felt like home. This time last year, the husband began his hunt for an Oregon job. It was, as job hunting always is, a daunting proposition and the anticipation was dreadful. Without going into the specifics of what he does to put food on our table, I will say that his specific industry was running rampant in Arizona but barely plodding along in Oregon. If opportunities were more bountiful in our chosen "home state", the face of the state would irrevocably change and who would want that? Not us, indeed. A bit of a catch-22 there. So he took a job in a related but completely unique field. So he took a job a whole flipping hour away from our favorite city in the whole world, but only an hour away from our favorite city in the whole wide world. Compromise.

The children want noodles. The husband suggested stir-fry. I think I'll whip up some veggies in a peanut sauce and throw them over soba. Compromise. (I'd better get on that).

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