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CAPTIVE
We are ruining Karin's life. RUINING it. How, you might ask? By living where we do (and by not letting her do ANYTHING, EVER but that's another post). How COULD we choose to live in Flyinge? What in god's name possessed us? WHAT WERE WE THINKING?

That's the gist of the text conversation I had with her this afternoon, while I was trying to get through the afternoon of my first day back at work after 2.5 weeks off. Good thing she wasn't in arm's reach or she might no longer have arms herself or at least thumbs to text with.

She thinks we live in the Boonies. The Sticks. BFE. And she's sort of right. It IS the sticks, for a 15-year-old girl with a very busy social life and a devouring need to be surrounded by her peers at all times. But I'm more and more glad of it. Imagine what we'd be going through if she had easy access to everything she wants...the grass is always greener on the other side of Flyingebygden.

We live in Flyinge. For lots of reasons. First because it was within the circle we drew around Malmö and Lund when we first started house-hunting over 17 years ago. Just within, but still. It's 10 minutes by car from Lund, where we both work and where Martin goes to school and where Karin will also go to school next year.

Second, because it was cheaper. By far. To buy a house in Flyinge 17 years ago was less than half the price of buying a similarly-sized house in Lund. I think the difference has increased now. Lund is EXPENSIVE. And Malmö isn't appealing: it's too big. If I wanted big city, I could have stayed in Chicago :D ...it's enough to visit once in a while, nowadays.

Third, because it's quiet and safe. It's a great place to raise a family and not surprisingly, she didn't have any problem with living here at all until she started playing soccer in Södra Sandby and then switched to school there. Living here is soothing. There are birds chirping and horses nickering and pheasants rattling around the backyard. It's peaceful.

Yeah, it's a little far away from social activity and that adds up, in an economy where gas prices are so high, but it's worth it. It means you think just a little bit harder about what plans you make and how often you make them. If everything you want to do has a travel price attached, maybe it gives you pause about whether you really want or need to do it. But I'm not a 15-year-old either. I know it's hard. But I think it's good for her. And for us.

Flyinge is tiny. It had under 1000 inhabitants 4 years ago and I suspect it's probably holding even. There are approximately 800 horses in the area, but I don't know if they're holding steady or catching up. There is no store or bank or post office anymore. There is only a pizzeria, a hair salon, a school, a junkyard, 3 daycares and a bunch of soccer fields.

Of the 26 kids in Karin's elementary class, she hangs out with none nowadays. All of her friends (except one), and her boyfriend, live in or around Södra Sandby (the next largest village over) or Lund. Sandby has over 6000 people. Lund has nearly 10,000.

But I'm glad she (and her brother, who also only has friends outside of our village) have to work a bit to get to the "big city," and that they have to take the bus or bike or moped to get there.

And lastly, we live here because of our house. I love this house, that we chose and built and fixed and made ours. I know we'll move someday (at which point Karin will probably declare in outraged tones that OH SURE NOW YOU MOVE) but I am not looking forward to it. This house is a sanctuary for me. Anders doesn't feel exactly the same, I know...he's mentioned moving once or twice, but I'm not ready, not by a long shot. And I think that it's good for us to be out here, in the countryside, in a quieter space.

Anyway, I know she isn't going to appreciate any of this now. But maybe she will later. Maybe when she starts her own family and realizes someday the same reasons might actually apply to her. And if not, that's okay, too. Either way, we'll have moved by then, I bet.
 mellow
mood: mellow
music: Neon Trees—Foolish Behavior
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Comments
From Megsie

You are ruining her life! (Ha!) I bet she will see the other side once she is all grown up. Yes, to be far from your friends at that age is hard. HOWEVER, you are already all grown up so YOU get to choose. That is the privilege that goes along with all of the responsibilities of being an adult. It is hard to imagine all of the responsibilities until you actually HAVE all of the responsibilities. So. I am glad she was not next to you, and that she still has her thumbs...

For the record, I am also ruining my children's lives. I am in good company, it looks like! xoxox

Re: From Megsie

It is comforting to know I am not alone, haha!

I do remember living in a village only 5 miles from the nearest town. Aged 16-17. Made life rather difficult to be sure, but I love visiting my parents there now! Tell her to give it 30 years! However even living close to the bus route into a fairly large town/small city now does not seem to lessen certain offspring's need to require me for taxi duties... Grr! It works both ways! :-)

30 years? She can't even stand the wait to 18 WHEN SHE CAN DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS. srsly.

You are SUCH bad parents! How could you RUIN HER LIFE like this? So inconsiderate and you don't want her to have ANY FUN AT ALL!

I know, right?! 😛

I can hear lizardmom chuckling

Ahhh... not so sweet sixteen - that glorious age of unreason. I remember it well, when my sunny, happy, smiling little girl transformed overnight into a spitting cobra. If it's any consolation, she WILL grow out of it, but unfortunately not before Barky gains many more grey hairs.

Of course, you are a dumb, unfeeling robot as all mothers are. You have NO IDEA what it is like to be in her position. You've never been a young 16 year old and even if you had, you didn't have the frightful mother she is stuck with.

Believe me, if it wasn't where you were living, it would be something else, prefixed by the mantra everyone else has/is going/ is allowed to... Poor Karin, living with a couple of boring fossils, hellbent on ruining her life. Hee, hee...

Re: I can hear lizardmom chuckling

Oh gawd, I will never make it.....heeeeeellllp meeeeeee

You will make it Liz. I did, and I was ruining 3 daughter's lives, in various ways. I ruined the son's life retrospectively, but only for a few years...
Although if too many of them get together at the same time there are some "remember when Mom did such and such" type accusations.

Sorry you are going through this right now. If memory serves, it will get a little worse before it gets better, but it should get much better for a good mother like you.

It's not that bad, ...mostly. :) And I have heard that about the getting worse before it gets better. *shudder*

You will survive this.

It sounds like Karin is at the low end of the complaining and blaming spectrum, if it's "not that bad,' Liz. With so many girls, I experienced low to medium high at times. Yes, it did get worse, but not much and not for too long.
Good luck. You will survive this.

(Anonymous)
Not in my backyard

If you move,could it be into Petterson and Findus´s house? or one like it? That would be cool. or maybe just find me one like it, so I can buy it and move up there into "the sticks" you guys live in a great place, no need to move. stop thinking about it.

You are not ruining Karins life, you are enriching it. she will figure it out one day. you just need to wait, like so far with everying Karin. She will rule the world one day, and it just might be because she had to bike, or moped, or (horror!) Take the bus... (Is it a short bus, or a really long one?) Building Character. yeah, thats it.

Maybe she just needs to hang out at the Junkyard some more. that has to be interesting. I know I found a muffler there once. It is really handy to have a junkyard nearby... don´t knock it. She might be able to find something there to "pimp out" her Moped. Just don´t let Anders spend too much time there. He has enough metal in the garage already.

Do all the other 26 other kids in Karins elementary class hang out with each other still? that might be wierd. If that is true, then maybe you should move immediately... Hollywood makes horror movies about neighborhoods like that. Although they tend to focus on the one house with the obsessive compulsive Mother and rockstar Father. And usually with an axe murderer as central figure. hmmmm. might be on to something here.






Re: Not in my backyard

Definitely into Pettson & Findus' house!! As long as Findus is there, at least. :)

I don't know if the other kids still hang out with each other, actually. I suspect not.

I will be forever grateful to my parents, for raising us in the small town they did. It's a bit bigger than Flyinge, but still small and safe enough that we could disappear on our own in the summer months, coming home only for lunch, and my parents didn't have to worry. Few of our friends were within walking distance, but we had bikes, and it was good exercise. There's time enough for cities as adults; starting out life in the sticks is a definite blessing. :-)

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