So, my family moved to Texas.
The move was pretty intense; two adults, two kids, two cats and two fish crammed into a mid-sized SUV careening across the countryside hoping to find a hotel that allowed cats and was near enough to an eating establishment that catered to a hodgepodge of dietary needs made every day exhausting. It would take a catastrophic event to make me move cross-country again. This was my third such move, and I like the number three. It has cosmic implications, and I’d like to leave it at that!
So what made me, a serious progressive and avowed agnostic move to the alleged Republican utopia and religious fairyland of Texas? With most of my family out of the picture and a physical exam that lead to some serious tests, I began to wonder if Connecticut would be the right place to raise our kids. Since budget cutbacks had stripped the Department of Developmental Services of any usefulness to us, I couldn’t count on respite money to assist us with care of our Autistic child if anything happened to either my spouse or I. CT’s economic climate made it very difficult to justify staying as well; rental properties in the range we could afford were tight and very competitive, and I was beginning to have to consider cramming us in a two bedroom apartment. Adding in utilities on top of rent made left us with no wiggle room for emergencies or vacations or anything but the basic necessities. That includes the $20 an hour to pay a special needs babysitter if my husband and I ever wanted to leave the house.
After adding up all these variables, we decided it would be a good idea to get out of Dodge. And while I am sure I will be infuriated by Texas politics and confounded by my new senator Ted Cruz (oh, I miss you Chris Murphy!) I have to say that it’s pretty good here so far. The spacious and light house we rented would be at least $3000 a month back in CT; our electric bill is a third of what it was; and I never have to worry about saving for heating oil again. The schools are good and while I have yet to have my official IEP meeting with my son’s new staff, I feel pretty good about it. My husband and I went on our first date in years, and the kids love that they now have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to spend time with.
But then again, check back in August after a few weeks of 100+ degree heat and what I am sure will be a brutal gubernatorial election on the horizon. For now, however, I’m just going to go with it.