Tuesday, October 06, 2009
This is where I spend a few hours a week. I mostly read while Mulan is taking gymnastics classes. When we lived in Los Angeles, gymnastics for Mulan was 45 minutes away - that's one way - in often terrible, crushing, soul-stealing traffic. I felt my whole life was eaten up with the drive. The parents/caretakers area was very small and crowded and it stunk of sweat and exhaustion and old stale candy. It was loud too because many mothers had younger children in tow. It's hard to become engrossed in a book when there are literally children screaming at your feet. Parking was a nightmare, you had a choice of a valet who would stack the cars, making it a lengthy process getting your car back at the end of class. You could park on the street - four blocks away but only if you were lucky. Typically you could only park about five or six blocks from the gym. Mulan went to gymnastics four or five times a week. There was an internet connection but for reasons I still don't understand, it would only let you be online for fifteen minutes and then it would cut you off. There was no way to even buy more internet time.
Now we are here in Wilmette. There is plenty of parking - god I almost cried the first time I pulled into the embarrassingly large parking lot. There are lots of places to sit and read. There is reliable and abundant wi-fi.
So now I read in quiet. I get excited when I realize it's gymnastics day.
But there is something sad too. I miss the old place in L.A.! Yes, I'm going through a romanticizing-my-life-in-L.A. period, but I miss it weirdly. The smallness of the parents room forced me to know the other parents, to overhear their phone calls, to help with a screaming kid. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to engage any more than I am right now. But there was a camaraderie I felt there - the exasperation was so communal, I felt those other parents were my peeps. Of course, I'm forgetting the ones that drove me crazy... But still... This is different, here. It's everything I wanted, yet I feel it's a little sterile and cold. This does not come from the people - at all - the parents here are warm and inviting. It's just, in L.A., the hustle-closeness-difficulty of surviving in a big city versus the expanse and luxury and isolation of the suburbs. I dunno. I kind of miss the misery.
WAIT A SEC. No, I don't! I am reading, I am writing, I am focusing my time, USING my time much better HERE than in L.A.