Friday, July 10, 2009

ORANGE COUNTY (picture Swarovsky crystals sparkling so much you need your sunglasses to gaze at it)

There are a plethora of wonderful advantages to living in Southern California. Not only do we enjoy summer all year long but we have great sandy beaches and lush green mountains that turn white and bring us snow within an hours drive.

Living in Orange County California takes that simple beauty and exploits it, injecting it full of Botox creating an over the top exaggeration of life.

Not only do we have malls with valet parking, we have GYMS with valet parking. You can drop your child off at day care, and just a short jaunt down the road you can also drop your dog off at their own day care- complete with lap pools and play group hour. In fact right next to the Sprinkles cupcake store, is the dog bakery where your pampered pooch can have a treat of their own.

With so many “enhancements” to everyday life, raising children in Orange County is even more difficult when it comes to keeping them grounded and teaching them what is normal. Normal to them could so easily be their own iphone, flat screen TV (in their room), individual Mac Notebooks, and like the bottomless fries at the local restaurant, endless itunes downloads. Because well you know everyone else has those things.

Except in our house, where if you want an iphone you have to pay for it yourself, we have one TV (for all four kids), and its embarrassingly in the living room, along with the computer and oh yeah itunes? better hope you did your chores and Mom likes the song, because its her password that you will need to get it on your ipod.

For a few years now I have wanted to take the kids on a pilgrimage to Mexico so they could work with kids there and see that their lives are a vast difference to many others. Of course the war on drugs (and subsequently war against Americans) and the Swine Flu have halted that plan for now. So its back to more creative parenting in showing them a valued life doesn’t mean a material life.

I understand that living here was our choice, that although every house matches the one next to it, across from it, and down the street from it, diversity could have been found much easier had we decided to live elsewhere. I'm also painfully aware that for us, as a blended family, it isn’t just about our house, but our ex’s houses as well and for now, at least, here is where we stay.

Still, I am not complaining about being here in the “OC” as with many things in life, its all how you play the game. After all with all the kids at their other homes this week, where else can someone make but just one quick call to the Poop Butler and have all their pets waste picked up for them?

Orange County, what a place.

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