This weekend we had a ton of fun in honor of my boy’s fourth birthday, which is today by the way. We went to Lancaster, PA in search of a real live steam engine and boy did we find it! I felt like a little kid again when the the big black iron train came rolling into the station for the first of six 45 minute tours (so you can imagine what it was like for Devin). And lets not forget the spectacle of Amish folk still driving horse and buggies on the highway. I swear those people have the right idea though: no internet, no cars, no commutes, no New York Times, no phones. It sounds like quite the peaceful life. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, and while I’m totally against free advertising, I must say that those little hotels have never disappointed me.

But as much fun as we had I can’t stop thinking about the trade-offs us common people have to resign ourselves to in life. This amazing two day trip that we went on means that it’s bologna and cheese for the next two weeks – and I absolutely hate bologna. Then, on a much bigger scale, it’s The Family: Phase Two* which I’m in now. My wife has officially been working part-time for a couple of weeks now, and I’m back to full-time and it sucks. If I’m lucky I get home from work with 30 minutes of Devin time still left in the day. If I’m not lucky the boy is fast asleep by the time I stumble into the house. The commute is simply murder.;I have to take a bus and a train just to get home. The trade off is that my boy is flourishing in school, and so much happier it’s ridiculous. My wife is even happier, and she proves it frequently now, as opposed to twice a month like in the past (sorry Mitch McDad!*).

Like any self respecting pessimist I must openly wonder: Is enjoying this great moment in time worth it? I’d like to think so, but what about the long term effects? I still live in the ‘hood, a good one, but the ‘hood nonetheless.  My boy can’t go to school here in Sept. 2008, unless he’s in a gifted program. But we lost mucho income with the work schedule change, which limits my ability to move the family into a better neighborhood in the next year. (Maybe I should relocate like my girl Ebony Mommy.*) The reality is that my family is in a dubious situation masquerading as hunky-dory. Or am I just being a dramatic worry wart?

(*NOTE: My blog is acting the darn fool, and for some reason I can’t add hyper links at this time. Check out my blogroll for links to Mitch McDad and Ebony Mommy.)