Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" Performed by Thy Phan & Milbert Tumaliuan


I hope to be home for Christmas, or rather have a house for Christmas as a first-time "home-buyer." I have a home, with my wife and kids, but we're looking for something bigger, yet smaller, a place for three generations to live together, something fellow Pittsford, NY resident Christopher Lasch described in The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics:
    We wanted our children to grow up in a kind of extended family, or at least with an abundance of “significant others.” A house full of people; a crowded table ranging across the generations; four-hand music at the piano; nonstop conversation and cooking; baseball games and swimming in the afternoon; long walks after dinner; a poker game or Diplomacy or charades in the evening, all these activities mixing adults and children–that was our idea of a well-ordered household and more specifically of a well-ordered education.
That vision will come into reality this Friday, as long as the IRS acknowledges that I am, indeed, a person. If not, I may face the threat of legal action. Such is life in America. I'm not sweating this small stuff. Everything has gone down to the wire on this move back home: getting a job, getting my wife's visa, my parents' selling their house to move back. Makes it seem all the more providential when it works out in the end.

Interestingly, certain people, especially professional women, greet our decision to establish a three-generational household, especially given that my parents are quite healthy, with reactions ranging from amusement to thinly-veiled disgust. But my mother says of our counter-cultural experiment in communal and intentional living, "More and more people are going to have to do it in the future."

Fortunately, it is not a matter of having to do it but wanting to do it. We'll be pooling our resources and getting a far better place than we could have done on our own, and we'll have each other to depend on. There will always be someone home for the kids. I grew up in a three-generation home, come to think of it the only one I knew besides my cousins, and see nothing but benefits for everyone involved.

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