Kevin and I are having a lot of conversations about what kind of life we want in the future, and what kind of life we want for Kavi. Where will she play if we live in the city? What if we don't have any other kids, who will she play with in our neighborhood? Should we move out to Oak Park or Evanston where we could afford a slightly bigger house with a playroom, extra bedroom for a second kid, etc.? Also, the public schools are much better there, so even though we'd be hit with an extra $6K a year in property taxes, we wouldn't be paying for private school. Apparently the good private schools in Chicago are $20K a year, which is a just astonishing amount to me. We could maybe afford that for one kid, if we were very careful with our finances, got some financial aid, etc. But if we had more than one -- I don't think we could do it. And I do, in principle at least, want to support public schools. But I also want Kavi to go somewhere physically safe, and where teachers have enough time and resources to pay a decent amount of attention to her. I think of when Elissa was teaching in the NY public schools, and had to buy a photocopier and photocopy all her materials herself, because the classrooms couldn't afford books -- that's just appalling. And the public high school in New Britain, where I grew up, had metal detectors at the doors, to keep kids from bringing guns and knives to school...
It's tricky. We want her to be safe, and happy, and have a rich, full childhood. Ideally with some trees and grass and safe outdoor areas to explore in -- we both had that as kids, and really valued it. But we also want to be happy ourselves, which means not having an insanely long commute (from, say, Naperville, one of the farther suburbs), having a few decent restaurants around, maybe a theatre we can get to occasionally. And ideally, being still close enough to the city that I can do all the DesiLit/SLF organizing stuff I do, hosting meetings and events etc. I can maybe still get people to come to Oak Park or Evanston, if we're near a subway line -- if we go further out, it just won't be possible anymore.
This morning, Melissa is watching Kavi and I'm at a new cafe, Ipsento, which I quite like. It's tiny, but fairly empty it looks like, with free Wifi and some outlets. Seven blocks from my house, which is a bit cold for walking in winter, but a quick drive and an easy bike ride once it warms up a little. This may be my new work spot. We'll see... I've spent the morning churning through backlogged e-mail, and managed to get back under 60 messages, yay. (I was creeping up to 100 again, which scares me). Now some lunch, I think, and then I give the nonfiction book one last look and then send it out to workshop. Eep.