Of Place and Space: urbanMamas & California
For my family, it is a tale of four cities... so far.
Almost exactly one year ago, I received a call while I was away for a work trip (I was in Memphis. With our toddler.) My husband had bittersweet news. He was accepted into a doctoral program at UC Berkeley. They were offering him a complete scholarship.
My heart skipped many beats in that phone conversation. I might have cried. Whether they were tears of joy for my partner's accomplishments or whether they were tears of sadness knowing I had to leave, I am still not sure.
What ensued (what still ensues) were (are) weeks of intense planning for the transition: changing schools, selling our home, finding a new one, preparing ourselves financially, setting up a new home, starting at new schools (for the 4 of 5 of us in our family), making new friends. The most difficult part: hugging our community goodbye.
The urbanMamas family has been amazing to me. What used to be just me, Hau, Shetha and Sarah just pondering over email, has now become a real resource for mamas & papas in Portland. Despite our sometimes efforts to pass it on, to focus on our day-jobs (or our kids), we have never been able to say "goodbye" to our commitment to maintaining urbanMamas.
My move to California is no different.
It has taken me six months to take this public step and share with you all, my life of transition, since August 1, 2011. I have wondered whether I should just somehow try to re-create the uM community here (in Alameda, CA), but I know that I cannot. I also know that I cannot sever my connection with you all.
So. In coming weeks, months, years, join me as we continue in this journey, expanding the urbanMamas community to continue to provide me (and hopefully other mamas & papas) the support and encouragement I need now more than ever, as I re-learn how to make new lifelong friends, as I support my children (now in 6th grade, 2nd grade, and preschool) in foraging new relationships and making a new home, as I dip my toes in a new school district, learn how to get involved in the schools (I've already started), and how to expand family biking in this sunny, flat place.
I welcome your feedback (what? "urbanMamas.com/eastbay"? will that work?), thoughts, comments. (Bear with us as we work out kinks and try new things.) Most of all, I welcome your virtual hugs because I miss pedaling through P-town and seeing you all wave as I bike by with my brood on the back of my bike. Our new neighbors here are still getting used to seeing our contraption on the road, but - hopefully, in due time - they'll be waving at us, too.