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November 24, 2011 / paperkids

One long summer

I just skyped with mom and dad for the second time in two days.  This time of year is the hardest you could say.  It’s amazing that with a couple of mouse clicks, I can be transported to my childhood kitchen table where my parents have set up their laptop hooked up with wi-fi.  It’s even more amazing to me that they have wi-fi in a house that doesn’t even have central air yet!  They did, however, get two brand new wall unit air conditioners for the summer because they knew we were coming.

Every spring for the last six years or so, I prepare for our summer trip to Florida.  It has to be a direct flight, of course.  I’ve learned that the hard way when traveling with two children with autism.  The transitions off and on are difficult enough for Emma and Hayden, but add  a delayed flight, or a flight where we have to get off and then on another plane…or the oh-so-dreaded flight that stops and we don’t get off.. well, that’s just asking for a catastrophe.  And because I stay much longer than Jared can, I’m usually flying solo with the kids.  So I pick a nice direct flight and have found that the red-eyes work the best actually.  I don’t sleep, but the kids can a little.  I could write a whole post just on flying.

We take off at LAX.  Why Los Angeles?  Because this has been my home off and on since I was 24 years old.  We are a bi-coastal couple, Jared and I.  He’s from LA (yeah, he’s one of know,  that  actually grew up here, auditioning and going to school  in the Valley).  And I am from Florida (yeah, I’m one of those girls – we like to lay in the sun, don’t mind drinking beer from a can and use “ya’ll” and “fix’n” a lot.)

So getting back to the air conditioning… Well, they bought it in part because we were supposed to move there this summer.  That was the plan, anyway.  I spent three long months in Florida this summer in a state of -well, there isn’t any other way to put it – insanity!  It was down right embarrassing, actually.  How many tantrums did I throw?!  How many crazy fights exploded?!  My emotions were all over the place – the fear of change, the sadness over the loss of my life here and friends and the change – the CHANGE!! , the fear of losing services for the children because, let’s face it, California is loaded with services.   But I loved the idea of this life in Florida with visions of my kids running on the white sandy shorelines, twirling in the open pasture at my parents house, running to my parents because they are basically taking over cooking meals and giving baths, gazing at the stars that drop over the open countryside, maybe helping to grow a garden or raise some chickens.  I could just see it!  Maybe the kids could just feel like regular, typical kids because my parents never make them feel like anything other than adored grandchildren.  Maybe I would feel more rested in the end …

But what was I doing??  What if I was wrong?  Maybe what this idea really was… was CRAZY!   I knew what my parents wanted and I knew what my friends here wanted.

But what did I want?

Anyway, in the end after months of relentless indecision (I lovingly now call Jared and I the “indecisive twins”), we decided to stay in California (for the moment anyhow).   Hey, I’m just trying to get through each day as it comes, okay?!    I still don’t know if it was the right decision,  but it was a decision.  One that was very hard and heartbreaking to make.  I try to stop myself from thinking about this other life that I could be having, although it still seems a little scary.  I know I’ve written about it before, but it always feels like a piece of me is split in two, living two lives.

It was one looooonnngggg summer no doubt.  But it was one great summer, too. – full of honesty, reflection, joy, heartbreak and love.

My house says unto me, “Do not leave me, for here dwells your past.”

And the road says to me, “Come and follow me, for I am your future.”

And I say to both my house and the road, “I have no past nor have I a future.  If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go there is a staying in my going.  Only love and death change all things.”

– taken from Sand and Foam: A book of Aphorisms by Kahlil Gibran

Here’s a little slice of summer that I thought I’d share:)


Leave a Comment
  1. MOTSL / Nov 24 2011 2:19 am

    Brings back such sweet memories!

  2. Candy / Nov 24 2011 2:55 am

    i love your stories, Sabra. You write so well! 🙂

  3. Emma Apple / Nov 30 2011 6:38 pm

    This post is so relevant to me right now. We are debating the pros and cons and the sheer logistics of staying in the US or moving to my home, New Zealand. Even your video could have been shot in NZ (what a beautiful family and home you have!). Even the imaginings you have of your children’s lives in Florida, are similar to my dream of life for us in NZ – even the fears. And OMG am I homesick now LOL!

    It’s no easy decision and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer, there is just a jump or don’t jump.

    Praying for clarity and easy transitions either way for your family and ours ❤

    • paperkids / Dec 1 2011 7:28 pm

      Thank you for sharing that Emma! I’m so encouraged to know that I am not the only one who struggles with such a huge move. You are so right – jump or don’t jump. I bet NZ is gorgeous!!! It must be hard that it’s so far away.

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