it is cool to be all grown up, even if i stopped growing

My wife and I like being grown ups. Actually, maybe we like being adults, because as our three year old pointed out to us today, we are done growing. All grown up, while she is still growing, as is her little brother.

And I would love to grow another inch or so.

But adulthood, we are reveling in that right now. As our generation (and the one before us and the one after) seem to flee it, we just giggle at the thought of two mortgages, of two kids, of the impending 23-hour plane journey to Arizona.

Not that it is easy. It is not. We do not sleep. The baby threw up all evening. The toddler has decided to cancel Christmas, both sullenly and loudly. And so on.

But this is our life. We made it ourselves. We chose it with care – the small apartment in the city, the summer house in the country, the two kids, no car, the reduced work schedules, the big travel plans, the budget priorities.

Now I am four days from parental leave. We are spending five weeks in sunny Arizona and California surrounded by family and friends. E will study this spring. I will write more (here and elsewhere). We will spend huge chunks of time out in the country. We are giving ourselves space as a family.

The beauty of these choices crystalized for us in the falling snow of the countryside this weekend. We had avoided the summer place all fall – too sick (mostly), too busy, too comfortable in the city.

But we went up for a day over the weekend. I took the kids myself on the train, and we got off into the first snow of the season, big soft flakes floating to the forest floor. E waited for us with a fire going and the house warming up more than we thought. We had family over for a Christmas fika. We put away all the summer things, finally.

It was ours. And we loved it. Then the children slept poorly, and I had to get up at 4:30 in the cold, and it is a long way to walk to the bathroom (in the barn) in the cold. So we left after a day.

Because we could.

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