Sir Hubby’s business is located two hours away from where we have been living. For the most part, he has been able to work remotely from home and that level of flexibility allowed us both to be full time AP’ers to our baby, T-Bird. But recently, he has taken on additional responsibility at work and his presence was required more and more. To conserve time, energy and gas, he began to sleep at the office a few nights a week. It quickly turned into all week.
The first few weeks were a bit novel for us: texting funny stories and pictures back and forth, looking forward to the weekends, helping the kids make art work to surprise Daddy with upon his return. The novelty quickly gave way to resentment, however, when the weekends turned into battles about who “deserved” to sleep in, who had put in a more stressful week, and whose turn it was to deal with kids who were rightly protesting the abrupt change from an Attachment style of parenting to a new-and not-so-improved Frustrated style. Something had to give, and we were not willing to let it be our family or the close relationship we have with our children any longer.
So, we started using the “M” word.
Moving to a new home has never been one of my favorite things to do. As a matter of fact, I dread it. The packing. The cleaning. The hauling. The unpacking. The mess! The chaos! Add a teenage girl who has had to leave behind her friends, a busy five year old, and a toddling toddler to the mix and it is enough to make me want to stay in bed and hide under the covers…oh, except I don’t have a bed right now since it is still at the old house.
So, here we are, right in the middle of our Big Move to a Bigger City. We are within walking distance of Sir Hubby’s work. We can see the library from our living room window. There are art museums, and live theatre, and the beach. Of course, we haven’t been able to see or do any of the wonderful things that our new address might allow us to…we are marooned in a sea of cardboard boxes, packing tape, and take-out cartons. We trust that eventually our big move will deliver and that things will get a bit more normal (whatever that means!) Right now, it is utter and complete chaos. At times, the difficulties and memories of having Sir Hubby away all week look like rosy, fun-filled days in comparison!
Last night, while trying in vain to get comfy (in a sleeping bag that smells vaguely of corn beef hash) and nursing T-bird to sleep, it occurred to me that even though this is the thirteenth home I have lived in since leaving my childhood home, it feels right to be here. It feels like our home even only after a few days. This empty, echoing space is full of potential and new ideas just waiting to be born.
There were a few times I got pretty misty before we left…cleaning out Ella’s outgrown clothes with her and remembering that she was a child when we moved there, and now she is a woman…taking down Bug’s artwork and recalling the pride that shone all over her face when we framed it and hung it on the wall…waking up the last morning to see the baby open her beautiful hazel eyes in the very room she was born in just eleven months ago. This move has forced us to think about what we really need to be a happy family: the baby has her sling and her “na-na” (as she calls nursing now), our five year old has her drawing supplies which allow her to express herself and her worries about moving to us in her own crazy way, and our teen knows she has parents who understand how tough this move is for her and treat her feelings of loss and anger respectfully and with sensitivity. Even without our beds, or chairs, or a proper shower curtain yet, this house already has everything my family really needs to provide consistent and loving care…a space for all of us to be together.