My son had looked forward to San Francisco last year. He definitely missed New York. However, he noted upon landing in San Francisco the first time, that it was beautiful and the water was so clean. I thought he was throwing shade at New York and had to remind him how great New York is (otherwise). I needn’t have worried. Sure, he enjoyed the big beaches of San Francisco and he didn’t mind much that they were often steep in fog and a bit cold. Ok, that last part was my problem with the beaches there. I find northern California to be a tad bit on the cooler side of things. Supposedly, mark Twain once noted “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” He couldn’t be more right. Yet that didn’t bother my son. he was happy to give San Francisco a chance. one year later, he was happy to be leaving the city by the bay behind because just like past American Idols, he was “headed to Hollywood.”
Actually his joy in going to Los Angeles was three-fold. First, he ended up not having a good time in San Francisco. He was subjected to bullying from his new San Francisco classmates and he was just not quite used to not being liked. He is an only child after all. And he was just one of six boys in his New York school and thus had a tight bond with the boys. In San Francisco they immediately treated him with skepticism because he was from New York. It made me wonder if these kids were being coached by Ted Cruz on how his perceptions of New York values. His perceptions are offensive and totally whack by the way. Did you catch a recent video of New Yorkers quickly jumping onto the subway tracks to help a man that became unconsciousness falling onto the tracks? That is just one moment of millions exemplifying New York values. But I digress as I am very protective of my New York. Whoever was coaching the kids, it didn’t matter. The damage was done. My son experienced, for the first time, mean kids and didn’t develop an affinity for the bay area as many of the “hippie/techie/over-paid and thus drastically inflating rental prices and pushing out the communities of color people” do. Whew. That was a mouthful. But true.
Second, Los Angeles is just cooler in terms of things to do (i.e. Disney, universal studios, skateboarding parks, so on) and warmer in terms of beach time. That wins over kids anytime. He also knows that mommy loves the restaurant scene better in Los Angeles. A happier mommy means her son gets more life experiences.
Third, we had been living in two cities -that of San Francisco and Los Angeles- for six months. I had to move down first to Los Angeles and fly back and forth most weekends. Besides being excruciatingly tiring for me to do such a commute, he missed his mommy and this Los Angeles won out in terms of his heart. Thus, the look and feel of pure joy in his face and heart. When I look at that smiling, ecstatic face, I feel overwhelmed with joy and can pay that joy forward.