My parents came out to visit me this past week. I decided not to fly home for the holidays, so they came out from CA to check out my new home. They had been to NC before, but a cross-country road trip in a Bookmobile makes it difficult to really “know” an area. I was their obliging tour-guide; their visit allowed me an excuse to take a few days off work, and I was eager to explore my new home more.
We did the typical tourist attractions: went to Asheville and toured the Biltmore house, hiked the local trails in Winston, sampled the many fine restaurants here, and toured the Reynolda house museum in town. I learned a lot about the area, which I enjoyed—I feel like I am piecing together the area more.
I think that they enjoyed Winston-Salem more than they had anticipated. I am not sure what their image of the town was prior to coming, but it seems that they have turned a corner; I think that they are beginning to understand why I moved across the country. Winston is just a nice place. There is nothing striking that stands out about the area—no ocean down the street or fantastic lifestyle attraction, but it is a good place to live, and the combination of little things here add to its overall charm. I have found my spot here, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else now where I could be more content. I have a fantastic job, I have met my media naranja, I have great friendships, running trails abound, and the area is replete with cool spots to explore.
I have a hard time imagining what it feels like to be a parent—there are certain aspects of a parent/child dynamic that are not reciprocated. It was easy for me to move out here, but for them, I suppose, it is more of a struggle to have their kids scattered about. The feelings surrounding my move were definitely not mutual. I was ecstatic; my mother cried for a week. But here’s what it comes down to, and I hope that they get this: if your children are truly happy, let the resistance go. No matter where they live, or what lifestyle they embrace, or what political/religious persuasions they may espouse, if they are truly content, then as a parent, rejoice in that, because true contentment is rare.