I am writing this on my new dining room table, in my new apartment in Swarthmore, PA. We live above Dunkin’ Donuts, and I told the kids absolutely no buying a donut ever. But I bought a few coffees there as a goodwill gesture for using their Internet which thank goodness filters up to our apartment.

The kids think it’s totally incompetent that we’ve been here four days and still do not have our own Internet connection. They do not recognize we also don’t have pots and pans and sheets and shampoo.

I left everything we own at the farm. I can’t cope with the idea that we are never going back. And anyway we have to maintain Wisconsin citizenship because the homeschooling laws in Pennsylvania fixate on curriculum which would probably put my kids back in kindergarten. So I bought everything new, which is really a new chance to own nothing.

I ordered the minimum amount of furniture. The farmhouse is all old furniture. The boys made me promise new furniture for our new apartment. So I have been buying vintage instead of antique because new is relative. I bought the dishes Trudy uses in Mad Men. I bought the thumbprint green glasses my mom threw at us in childhood. Who knew my mom was a connoisseur of design?

I never planned to move to Swarthmore. In October we started having to drive three times a week to Chicago, which meant 24 hours a week in the car. And 27 if you count time for eating, and the more time we spent in the car the more time we took every time we got out of the car, and hours melted into days and stays overnight at hotels.

In November my husband and I decided the driving is too much, and I had to get an apartment in Chicago, and we’d go home to the farm on the weekends. But before I could get my plan in order, I had already scheduled my son to take lessons with a teacher from Juilliard, Amy Barston. Instead of staying in NYC for the lessons, we spent the week in the only hotel in Swarthmore, where she lives. And the minute I got there I knew we should move there to take lessons with her.

Lessons with Amy were great. We knew they would be. My son has had lessons with her before. We just never considered her as a choice because I didn’t think we were ready to move so far away from the farm.

It took me three days to decide to move. The first day I knew it would be great for cello. But my older son would have to come with. And I felt hesitant to drag him along with us if it wasn’t best for him. My older son loves academics. And he loves working in-person, one-on-one with a tutor. But we couldn’t find tutors near our house. So he did some subjects online. But we hit a wall with chemistry. The tutor said problem sets are difficult to do online. And we hit a wall with the SAT tutor who said our connection on the farm is so slow that we are wasting our money on the tutoring.

In Swarthmore I found a great biology tutor and an SAT tutor in one day. Local. In person. So easy. No driving for us. We interviewed chemistry tutors for two days. My son couldn’t believe how many choices he had. He was hooked. He wants tutors back to back all day long.

We could argue the merits of this plan. But you can’t argue how much easier it is to get my kids what they need in Swarthmore than on the farm. The farm was a really great place to raise kids. But it’s a very limiting place for teenagers.

Location is limiting to everyone. I guess families try to pick a location that presents the most opportunity for the most family members. In Wisconsin we live among the Amish. (Who, ironically moved from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin because land prices in the east are so high.) The Amish families put the community before the family and the family before the individual. I guess what I am doing is putting the individual before the family and the family before the community. I’m not sure there’s a right answer. You get something different depending on the decision.

What we have is that the kids are getting what they want and I am losing my garden and my house that I adore and the relationship I built with my in-laws, who I really like. My husband is losing his wife and kids. Maybe. Or, if he decides to move with us, he’s losing his job.

Most people will say this is extreme. Moving for a cello teacher for an 11-year-old. But this sort of situation happens all the time. Families relocating for a child star or an Olympic athlete. I saw a movie about ballet students trying to make it as professionals. Their families gave up everything so the kids could train at the right place at the right time.

But the point the movie really makes is that poor kids don’t do this because training takes too many resources. And rich kids don’t do this because families are accustomed to buying accommodations from people rather than bending themselves for an institution.

Giving up so much so the kids can climb their chosen mountain — this is the purview of the middle class. It’s for people who strive. Specializing is not something the rich and privileged do — because they don’t have to. Specializing is taking a big risk, and people take big risks to get something they don’t have. Rich parents do not take risks with their kids. It’s not worth the downside to them.

So we are taking a risk. I am risking my marriage and my financial security and probably my sanity so the kids can have the childhood they want. I am advocating the virtues of self-directed learning and I’m taking it to the logical extreme, because that’s how I do everything.

I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.  I don’t know how I’m going to keep my garden from going to hell while I’m living in Swarthmore. But I do know that the kids like mid-century design.

113 replies
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  1. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Good on you, brave move. I’ve missed your blogs! You won’t regret following your heart and your gut for the kids. Enjoy the no commute and watching the boys grow into the next phase of their life.

  2. Maria
    Maria says:

    Congrats Penelope! I dont know if it is the right move or not. We have too little information to give an opinion. But I admire that you take the risk for the wellbeing of the kids. Does it impact your job as an entrepreneur? How do you keep your network “alive” living in the farm and then moving to another city? Do you travel to meet your contacts?

  3. Anna
    Anna says:

    I assumed my husband and I would live in a rural area. But then little strikes of lightning have hit that make me wonder if we actually really should live in a city. A lot of our good friends live in the country, so we thought that would be our natural planting spot. However, I chuckle when I clearly see that our relationship and family DNA is so much more tuned to urban organization.

    We don’t know how to live where you can’t walk to stores, and we certainly don’t know how to live where you don’t have a lot of choices of stores and things in them. Well anyway, sigh. We are in transition from living abroad to living… somewhere. We don’t know yet. The transition has been too long.

    This blog post about a move from a farm to the city was refreshing for me.

    We like bookstores, cafes, custom freshly squeezed juice, trains and buses, live outdoor music, restaurants, parks, and hanging out at various kinds of grocery stores with our toddlers. Re. the latter, grocery stores are great for toddlers – they ride in the car carts, push the kid-sized carts, get a free piece of fruit and a sticker, pick out a healthy snack to buy for later, sit in the seating and eating area for a while and by the light-switch fire place at one for a while. We admire the thick pace of rural life but it seems like we tick better in a place that is set in the midst of variety.

    I don’t have a license (never have) so realized that we better live in an urban area in walking distance to stores. Can the experience of how you buy groceries influence where you decide to live? I wouldn’t have thought, so but I think it might.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth says:

      There are lots of great little towns in rural areas where you can buy a house with some land and still live close enough to walk to stores (though if you want more than a half acre you’ll have to live a little farther out). You won’t have 100 restaurants to choose from but there will definitely be a bookstore and freshly squeezed juice. I live in one such town in California (Ukiah) that has a great food co-op, live free concerts in one of our town’s gorgeous parks, and a surprisingly good rural transit system, but California is expensive. A quick Google search of “best small towns in America” will reveal options in other parts of the country! I was a city girl who longed for the country life, and living in a small rural city has proven the best of both worlds; my in-laws live in the middle of fruit orchards and my husband and I own a house near the quaint downtown area which boasts excellent sushi, community acupuncture, and cute boutiques. There are dozens if not hundreds of towns like this in the U.S. – you can find one that works for you. Good luck!

      • Poop
        Poop says:

        Ukiah is only a place for you if you are l:
        1) White
        2) upper middle class
        3) into drugs, because there’s an entire drug scene that a running rampant up there that anyone who isnt below the poverty line like to cast judgement upon 8nstead of passing through services to help
        (they would rather fix the roads on the west end and add more restaurants and super stores than take care of the major homeless crisis happening up there. )
        What an oasis

        For an outsider

      • Poop
        Poop says:

        Oh and Let’s not forget their children services, who steal and place children in the homes of pedophiles who violate toddlers and yet won’t investigate because it ruins that family.
        Or the police, who do not know how to address individuals with mental illness and often mock them while responding to 5150 calls. (that problem has been fixed, the police just don’t come for 5150s now)

        Wonderful Ukiah

  4. renee
    renee says:

    wow. welcome to the ‘hood. I am not far from you in Lower Merion.
    I am happy to introduce myself and help you acclimate to your new home. I also love mid century modern and know of a bimonthy warehouse sale in the city with furniture and such. Also various ‘vintage’ places. There are also some great facebook communities that can connect you to other homeschooling/ unschooling families. While it doesnt replace being close to family, this area can offer lots of support and interesting opportunities for you and your boys.
    Please contact me when you wish.

  5. Katharine Di Cerbo
    Katharine Di Cerbo says:

    Wow! Will you miss your husband? Will your kids? Was he part of this decision or did you make it alone?

    I recently moved to Italy for my husband’s job. It took us 6 weeks to get internet… gahhhh…

    Your move would scare the crap out of me, but good luck! I hope your kids appreciate it.

  6. Alyson
    Alyson says:

    Hey there Penelope! Us too. We arrived in our village in Romania last night. It’s the sort of place where people kill pigs and drive horses and carts and my kids adore it, so do I, truth be told. But we know it’s not forever. Right now the kids still love to play in the snow and go to ski school, in a few years they’ll need more. We just got back from Chiang Mai, that’s a great place for them, huge amounts of things to do and should they ever want tutors, they are there. I like a bit of city, a bit of country, being a travel blogger makes that flexibility possible. For now. my elder son is 12 and wants to be a youtuber, we know people who do just that, at a very lucrative level ( they kinda help and encourage him and will eventually get him there if he shows talent). The isolation here gives him more time to work on that, so for now, that works too. There are lots of stunnng young girls in the village, when he gets more interested in them I can see him learning Romanian very fast indeed :) But we will go wherever they need to be. It’s all about them and always has been.

  7. Madelyn
    Madelyn says:

    Hey Neighbor. You live ten minutes from me now. BTW, it’s not that hard to homeschool in PA. You have heard some bad hoodoo. You can do whatever you want, but you have a tiny bit more paperwork at the end of the year.

  8. Joanna Daniel
    Joanna Daniel says:

    Wow, I love this Penelope. I love the courage that it takes to do what you know to be right for your children.
    At the moment we live in a tiny village in West Wales, I have three children one extrovert who loves people and sometimes struggle. We try to travel often but it isn’t always possible. we currently do extra tuition via the internet.
    Hope you will settle well into your new community and the children will thrive

  9. eva
    eva says:

    OMG, this is so touchingly and impressing! I wish you and your husband the strength and the will to stick to the plan and to each other. It is a great opportunity for your kids and for your relationship, but it is also a challenge. I believe that some distance in love relationship is like an upwind and makes the connection even closer and stronger than before. Stay positive and good luck!

  10. Stephanie Ko
    Stephanie Ko says:

    As much as the decision seems extreme I think it’s good for your sanity. Yes, you’re giving a lot of things up but you took a risk in order to have control over your life instead of letting it control you. Having autonomy, or, at least the perception of having it, is so important to our wellbeing.

    Good luck!

  11. Mark
    Mark says:

    Congratulations Penelope – Way to stretch the experiences in a short lifetime! Hubby will wait for you even you see each other three weeks a year. He won’t leave the farm. He has probably been cured of women for a while, but no one he could meet is going to stack up next to you anyways.

    I only made it halfway through the article before the word “risk” came to mind. Your move is both big risk and low risk – very much the stuff that start-up icons do, but you have adapted it to real life and family and not solely an obsessive personal pursuit. That is absolutely brilliant. Pure Genius. Way-to-go. Best of Luck.

    Mark

    P.S. The garden is going to be a problem. Not insurmountable, but will take a really good strategy. You could hire an Amish woman to help but she would be so good around the farm that you might lose your hubby. Choose your destiny I guess.

    And, I don’t see what is wrong with a donut every now and then…

  12. Amy Kovach
    Amy Kovach says:

    I live in MD. About ten years ago, a house up the street was bought by a family from MN. The wanted their daughter to be coached by the Russian coaches at the high level ice skating program at the university near us. The mom and daughter lived there for about 4 years. The daughter was home schooled. I would see the mom walking her dog (which, ironically, rode in a stroller) as she talked on the phone with a bluetooth headset. Looked like she was talking to herself. Then they sold and moved away.

    Glad you posted. I was getting worried.

  13. Rhonda
    Rhonda says:

    You are brave to embark on such a journey! I know you have thought this plan through very thoroughly. However, as a mother whose five children are almost grown, may I encourage you to explore the future a little bit more. What happens when the children have flown the coop? Will they be grateful for all you’ve done for them? Will they be resentful for what you didn’t do (or what you did)? Are you doing what they really want, or what you think they really want? Or what you want for them? What’s left at the end of the day, if you have poured your life into your children, but not your marriage? When they are all grown up with lives of their own, where will you be? And finally, are cello lessons via Skype a possibility? ;)

    Just food for thought… I wish you the best!

  14. Maria Killam
    Maria Killam says:

    I think you’re brave too! I was so excited to see a blog post from you that I just took my laptop to the bathroom.
    I’m excited to find out what you do next Penelope!
    xo
    Maria

    • Maria Hanson
      Maria Hanson says:

      Maria Killam, as in “The True Colour Expert” Maria Killam? If so, it’s no wonder why P had such great paint colors in the farm house. And if not, well, here’s an awkward ‘hello’ from a fellow Maria.

  15. harris497
    harris497 says:

    Penny,
    look into the curriculum offered by K12. We access that through the Ohio Virtual Academy. It’s all online, there are teachers available. My wife and I serve as learning coaches, and the resources are wonderful!
    Sacrificing for one’s children is something that comes with the territory, you just have to guard against losing yourself while you help them find themselves…
    My2centsworth

  16. Laura
    Laura says:

    Love the way you think! Can relate. Living in a city now, too, after country life. Prefer and enjoy riding my bike (getting exercise) rather than the grueling commutes. All the best…By the way, I loved living in PA way back – friendly people. Good luck with keeping the kids off DD donuts. ;)

  17. Denise Canellos
    Denise Canellos says:

    I moved to a community with fabulous schools for my daughter, even though it isn’t my first choice of a place to live for me. When I met my now husband, he lived in LA and there was no way I was raising my daughter there, so he moved here and reestablished his business. It hasn’t always been easy but it was the best choice for us.

    Now my daughter is a senior in high school and we will soon be free to move wherever we want. Kids grow up, and while in the middle of raising them it seems like it will never end, when I look back it went fast.

    If you and the farmer can hold on, just for the few years it will take for your boys to get to college, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best for your kids and now have the rest of your life to live wherever you want.

    You are right about the middle class being the ones to do this for our kids. If I was wealthier I could have sent her to private school and lived somewhere else, and I was lucky enough to have the money to move here instead of making do wherever I could afford.

  18. Kerri
    Kerri says:

    Yay!! I was another person getting worried about you and wondering what you had cooking. I think this is great and I, like others, can relate. I moved a long way with my son for his happiness and development and even though it was very hard on my sanity for a few years, it’s ultimately been one of the best & bravest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Sending you love.

  19. Laura Tiebert
    Laura Tiebert says:

    It can be a blessing and a curse to have an extremely talented child. Sacrificing on your part to give him the opportunity to capitalize on that talent, while also assuring that your older son will thrive, seems to make sense. You and your husband can make this work with the right mindset. Maybe it will even be good for your marriage – who knows? You know the old country song, “how can I love you when you won’t go away?” Ha! People make moves like this all the time and succeed and you will too.

  20. Morgan
    Morgan says:

    Have you seen ‘Hillary and Jackie’? It’s a wonderful film about musically talented siblings. Good luck settling in to your new home!

  21. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Wow, what a big thing to do and I hope it works out well for everyone! I really like what you say about specialising and how you’re plunging into this big risk. I have just left my job (which I hated) to work on what I really want to be doing. This is a huge financial and security risk, like you are taking. Good luck with it all.

  22. Zarathustra
    Zarathustra says:

    That was a bold, brave move. I hope it works out for you guys. I really do.

    I won’t sit here and tell you how challenging it is going to be; you know. I accepted a position with a new company (in a new state) in July and started in mid-August. But my wife had still had work contracts in our old state and if she ever wanted to work in her field again, she couldn’t just up and dump them. So she stayed. With both kids. Our kids were already in private school full time, but she was basically a single mom for 3.5 months until they finally moved out here a few weeks ago.

    It was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do as a husband and father: traveling back and forth every two weeks and nightly tuckins via FaceTime. I felt like I didn’t know them anymore.

    My wife is now a stay-at-home mom (and we’re expecting our third, and last, in April). She moved because this position is an incredible opportunity for me and she wanted/needed some time off – her work is exhausting. Completely unselfish. And I don’t know that I’d be able to do the same thing were our positions reversed.

    We make incredible sacrifices for our kids because for the first time, it’s not just about us anymore. You may not know if you’re doing the right thing – but I do know that you’ll drive yourself crazy if you continuously second-guess yourself. It took me a while to learn that. We’re here, I have a good job. That has to be enough for now.

    I wish you the best and look forward to reading the updates.

  23. Virginia
    Virginia says:

    So glad you are okay. With all you had going on in your life, it seemed like something had to give… homeschooling, marriage, or company. For you, this is the move that makes sense. It will be tough, but you can get through it.

  24. jennifer warner
    jennifer warner says:

    Wait, what? You are choosing a cello teacher over a father figure? What gives? This doesn’t feel completely honest.

    • meistergedanken
      meistergedanken says:

      Oh, it’s honest. It’s just bat-shit crazy.

      It’s not uncommon, that desperate, herculean channeling of all one’s fears and wants and resources into one’s offspring, so that they can achieve the successes that the parent always envisioned for herself (pro-volleyball, *cough*).

      Well, maybe the boy will turn out to be the next Yo-Yo Ma, and that will be sufficient compensation for the shambles the other aspects of her life will become. Perhaps it will make up for the alienated in-laws, and the estranged and irrevocably, willfully damaged marriage, and the other severed ties that will result from this radical lifestyle change.

      • gla
        gla says:

        Maybe it’s better to teach a kid that if they are really into something and want to make it work, they will have to do it themselves against all odds. They’ll learn how to be persistent and not lose sight of their goals. The whole family isn’t going to sacrifice everything because this one kid is “special.”

        I see why my generation keeps getting called “generation snowflake” by my parents’ generation.

      • Holly
        Holly says:

        Quite harsh!! If one were to play internet psychologist, it seems you are the one projecting a lifetime of failure & regrets upon her?! Aside from the fact that I don’t recall her asking for parenting or relationship advice from any of you!!

      • rdstone
        rdstone says:

        Well summed up meistergedanken. There seems to be a pattern of this short sighted selfish behavior throughout her life, including the rash relocations. And those cheering her on – more self indulgent impulsive melorists that are fun at cocktail parties, but cannot plan a meaningful life with others.

    • Marina C.
      Marina C. says:

      I’m also curious to find out why she chose one over the other! No judgment here–I’m sure it was the right choice for her family. Still, though, this post leaves me really curious…

      • jessica
        jessica says:

        Why are people stuck on the Farmer (no offence Farmer). Hes a grown adult and can get on an airplane and be there under 2 hours (faster than their usual drives).

        In the UK if one parent is not ‘putting the child/ren first’, they can actually Force married couples to split up or take the kids away. The consensus is that as long as children are put first by someone (over the parental relationships) they are better off. This is extreme in that sense, but not insurmountable.

  25. Jay
    Jay says:

    Wow, someone Internet-famous is now living less than 10 minutes from me. I’m almost positive I know exactly where you are renting, and I’m pretty sure I pass by it every day. Swarthmore is a nice college town, but a bit lacking in amenities. There is a Trader Joe’s, Acme, and bunches of restaurants in Media. Plus if you need transit options aside from the light rail, there are buses and a trolley nearby. Welcome to the neighborhood!

  26. Mike
    Mike says:

    How do you reconcile this with your well published views on what divorce does to kids? Divorce is a legal document. You may not technically be divorced if he doesn’t move too. Is this different than divorce? I don’t know…. I don’t have any judgment. But I’m curious to hear why this is different.

  27. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I was thinking for a while that it sounded like your kids needed to be deeper into civilization at this point anyway. They’re going to be so much happier. And you’re probably going to be so much happier too because it sounds like you were already spending so much time trying to find out and do the best thing for them. You’re a good mother.

    I wonder if you can somehow find a way to start some type of indoor gardening…like if there’s a sunny patch in your apartment…it’s gonna be nowhere near your farm garden but maybe it’ll be something at least.

    Anyway I’m happy for you and your kids. Congrats!

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    What an absolute train wreck.

    You are ruining his life — “the farmer” — do you even care?

    Did you ever pay back, or reproduce, all the money you spent? His money?

    • meistergedanken
      meistergedanken says:

      What is this heresy you are spouting? Don’t you realize she has no accountability to him whatsoever? It says so in the “YouGoGrrl” handbook!

      Incidentally this is why I resolved to never become involved with a woman who already has kids. It’s pretty obvious that you are going to be relegated to “second fiddle” to the kids’ “first cello”, if you know what I mean.

      • John
        John says:

        The lessons are obviously a cover for running out on her husband after milking him dry. It’s enlightening to see this wasn’t less than the actions of a gold digger. Lost a lot of respect – personally and professionally. Was he simply underwriting her mistakes over the years?

  29. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Congrats!

    Once you’ve settled in I hope the reduced travel + lack of daily-husband will do wonders for your work life, and rather selfishly, your blog life.

  30. JD
    JD says:

    I was gonna say this is one of the crazier things you’ve done, but on reflection, it doesn’t crack the top ten.

  31. Brett Staupe
    Brett Staupe says:

    I think you should take a page book from the Amish and go back to the Farm. Cello isn’t the most lucrative of ideas and while he may be a prodigy, the SEMYO in Minnesota would be just as good as going out to PA. Also don’t park in Philadelphia ever, they’ll take your car from you, and you’ll end up on Parking Wars. Oh and I live in a town with 6 DD’s. Their coffee is lousy and after awhile the smell of donuts will drive you nuts. They make em up here in Canton, and then ship em down there half fresh/half frozen and reheat them. Tastes like paste. Rather go to Kwik Trip. Actually going there next week, gotta get out of this area for awhile. See you back in Wisconsin.

  32. M
    M says:

    Finally! All the driving was soul killing, back breaking and metabolism destroying. When you’re developing a world-class talent, you’ve got to go to the coach. It’s just the reality — world class coaches can’t be everywhere. How exciting that the kids have passions. Parenting is a short-term sacrifice to launch capable adults. I’m thankful that you’re putting two loved, educated and talented humans into the world. You’re making the world by giving it two thoughtful stewards of the future. I hope the process of parenting and it’s effects on you are making you a better human too. You already seem way less judge-y than you were 10 years ago and way more compassionate about all kinds of things that you previously would have railed against. And your writing hasn’t suffered.In fact, the writing is way more soulful now compared to lists like “10-point Blueprint Plan for a Woman’s Life”. Sending everyone lots of appreciation through this transition.

  33. amy parmenter
    amy parmenter says:

    Penelope:

    Selfishly, I am excited about your move but only because I am from the Philadelphia area and that’s where my family is – so even though I live in Connecticut now, I’m happy you are near Philly. Makes no sense, I realize.

    Also, the best thing about moving is that it only is a permanent choice if it turns out to be a good choice. Wishing you ALL the best.

  34. Katy
    Katy says:

    If your son is clamoring for back-to-back tutoring, maybe that means he’d enjoy being in a traditional school setting? True, traditional school is not one-on-one, but clearly he enjoys learning from experts in their field.

  35. Lauren Teller
    Lauren Teller says:

    I don’t feel like writing what I should write, so I will write to you.
    1) How can you learn to want what you want to want?
    2) Is there good grocery store in Swarthmore?
    3) Does the refrigerator work?
    4) Does your Dunkin Donuts have a Baskin and Robbins Ice Cream Place attached?
    5) DD originated in Boston, I went to grade school with the son. He used to drop his pencil on the floor and lookup my skirt in first grade. I thought he was clumsy, but he was sneaky.
    5) How does this phenomena apply to other situations?
    6) Good luck with the stove..is it electric?
    Lauren

  36. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Back-to-back tutors is not “home schooling.”

    Send him or them to some organized school. There are all sorts these days.

    • Anna
      Anna says:

      It depends on how you define homeschooling. It sounds like you might define it as a parent teaching or a student self-teaching.

      There is also a much broader definition, which includes hiring anyone you want to teach whatever, whenever want. You are the one directing, designing, even if employing some delegation and outsourcing to achieve your goals. It’s a creative enterprise, not limited to one template, like formal school has been for the majority of past 100+ years. Not to mention that with a tutor you can meet at home or at a cafe or wherever. One-on-one (or even small group tutoring) is one of the desired efficiency and quality aims of homeschooling, as well.

  37. Marina C.
    Marina C. says:

    Congrats on moving, Penelope. One sentence in your post struck me, though–you said you’re never going back to the farm. How can you be certain of that? And–this is just my nosiness, sorry–if you are in fact certain, why won’t you ever go back?

    • J.E.
      J.E. says:

      She said this in her post about the move in her education blog:

      “In hindsight, the reason it has taken me so long to write about moving is that I had to be in denial about moving in order to move. I moved with nothing because I told myself we will go back to the farm a lot. We aren’t doing that. And somewhere in the back of my head I probably knew that. But it’s too sad for me.”

      I don’t know if it’s just too much of a hassle to go back to the farm every weekend or if there is more to it than that. I can’t see the farmer going to PA that much. It’s too difficult to leave a farm that is your livelihood very often. I also don’t think the farmer is a big traveler.

  38. mk
    mk says:

    Well, I’m glad you’re not dead. And no one you love is dead. And you haven’t had a nervous breakdown… I guess.

    I don’t feel as positive about this as your other readers. Seems like, in the long run, kids benefit more from stable families than they do from super-tutors. Aren’t you the one who urges us not to fool ourselves into thinking that we’re so special that common sense rules don’t apply to us?

    I don’t think you’re as flaky as your post makes you sound. There’s more to this decision that what you’ve shared here.

    • Naimah
      Naimah says:

      I knew something was up when she hadn’t posted in almost 2 months. I have a feeling that her and the Farmer are dunzo and that, like moving, is hard for her to share with us.

  39. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why your kid is more important than your marriage. Unless your marriage is over and you can’t summon the guts to tell us yet. That said, I despise pushy parents who live through their children which kinda sounds like you. He may be a super talented cello player now. But, there are plenty of those going around. Why not have him develop a variety of skills and experiences?

    • D
      D says:

      I once went to Israel for two months and I was SHOCKED by the musical talent. So many virtuoso cello players violinists pianists and many were barely eking out a living. I don’t think money is what motivates Penelope as much as prestige. Maybe her son will achieve that. I am glad to hear your other son is highly motivated now when it matters. I saw him in a video of yours and cannot figure out why you think he or you have Aspberger’s. I do think it was pretty awesome of your husband to be such a good stepdad and I don’t think he deserves this. This long distance a relationship can’t work. Why do you need to move all year? Why not do a half n half?

  40. Naimah
    Naimah says:

    P I love you boo…..and glad I don’t have to live with your decisions! I really want to say how dumb this sounds, I just hope the boys stick around to spoon feed you soup in your 80’s and aren’t to busy flying around the world as World class Ciellist. To the farmer, I hope he finds a great wife who will put him first. We all have our paths in life, many blessings on yours!

  41. Alyosha
    Alyosha says:

    I don’t have an opinion. But it is interesting that you say: “It took me three days to decide to move.” Was your husband not a part of the decision? Maybe your marriage is not at risk. It sounds like it is over.

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