Last summer, we made a crazy decision to leave our comfortable suburban life and move cross-country into a cabin in the wild mountains of western Montana. To explain exactly why would take a long time, and these days I seem to have a short attention span. To try to sum it up, though, we wanted to create the perfect childhood for our daughter.
At 4 years old, Mimi had already lived in 4 homes in 3 states, and we knew we needed to settle down in one location before she started school. For most of her life, we didn't have family within 1000 miles of us. When my job moved me to a site in South Carolina, we were a 4 hour drive away from Austin's grandparents, but that job had an expiration date, and after spending a year without traveling 1-3 weeks a month, I wasn't willing to get back on the road again and leave my family behind.
About a year ago, we made the decision to move, and spent the next 3 months planning it out. Austin grew up in western Montana, and most of his family lived there, so that's where we decided to go.
Let me go off-track for a second. I have a friend, one of my very best friends, and I will call him GM. GM and I worked together for a few years, and I always loved traveling with him because he is a great storyteller, from tales of monkeys grabbing off wigs to working in a military prison to his childhood. See, GM grew up on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, and I was charmed by the thought of this: away from the city, kids running free; it sounded like a great place to live.
Back to our story, I thought about the type of childhood that we could give Mimi: the perfect childhood. Of course, it's more MY perfect childhood...the one that, as an adult, I would have picked for myself, but now that we're more than seven months into it, it seems to be working so far.