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Motherlode: Why Are We Moving Again?

parenting_postThe first installment of my weekly column in the New York Times Motherlode, ‘Diary of an International Move’:

I added up the expenses for our move: the trans-Atlantic move itself, health insurance, house rental and car. I considered the amount, went to the kitchen and opened a bag of chips. My husband, Matt, came in. We usually work at night after we put our two children to bed and then meet in the kitchen for snacks.

“Why are we doing this?” I asked. “Why are we moving?”

The look on his face said two things: First, we’ve already gone over this; second, I just came in here for some nuts.

In July, we’re moving from Jerusalem to Rockland County, N.Y. Whenever I think about it, I’m overwhelmed. I worry that moving will mess up the children, drain us financially and cause friction in our marriage, which it was already doing.

We have good reasons for going. The cost of living is one. Everything from housing to food costs has doubled since we first came here 20 years ago. Matt has never felt at home here and we also want to raise the children in a country where violent political conflict and existential tension aren’t woven into daily life.

We chose New York because I grew up on Long Island, and my parents and sister still live there. Having grandparents and cousins around excites our children — real live people instead of grainy Skype images on a monitor. Matt will write his next thriller and I’ll continue freelance writing.

In spite of all this, I had cold feet. “Maybe this isn’t the right time,” I said. I showed Matt the figures and suggested we put off moving for another year. “You’ll be so happy there,” he said.

I call this an “I-read-the-manual-on-how-to-be-a-man” response. He hadn’t addressed what I’d said. He’d also managed to ignore the emotions lurking behind my doubt. Read More

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