Monday, August 27, 2012

A New Routine

I wish I could write a fantastic post about our new routine.  Of how our children are adapting wonderfully to the drastic change in our lives, of how I'm taking it all in stride and successfully stepping into my role of single parent.

But I'd be lying.

Truth be told, single parenting is for the birds.  Big fat ugly buzzard birds.  It's not the amount of work involved with the feeding and cleaning, dressing and grooming, transporting and caring for three small children.  Nor is it the incessant volumes of laundry and never-ending instructions to pick up and clean up so our house stays somewhat tidy while it's being marketed for sale.  Neither is it the ongoing dialogue of 'stop bickering', 'leave your sister alone', 'stop whining', and 'I don't care if he breathed on you - it's his air too.'  And it's not even the stress of trying to push these children out of my mind and daily thoughts while I try my best to focus on the communities I am writing for as we embark on Grant Season 2012.

No - it's the little things that I'm completely unequipped to deal with.  Like what?  Here's a few examples...

Jack - locking the bathroom door shut - the bathroom door that leads to the laundry room - that God forbid we can't access as it not only holds the obvious but also all of the medical crap we've accumulated over the years (thermometers, band-aids, medications, etc...) as well as the majority of cleaning supplies that are constantly in use thanks to two little boys whose names both start with 'J'. Thank goodness for good friends - Brian - if you're reading this - thank you for your knowledge in how to pick locks - after the stupid lock still wouldn't disengage after taking the doorknob off - and the only way to open the door was via the old 'credit card' trick.

James - screwing around in the garage - and then coming upstairs to proudly tell me how he'd made ice!  My half-hearted listening to his tales of his recent scientific experiment resulted in my discovery that the freezer door had been left open - for who knows how long -- effectively defrosting boxes of breakfast items, lemon-ade ice pops, pizzas, rolls -you name it - the once fruitful bounty of my stock-up trip to Sams - now a sad puddle on my garage floor.

James - again - pooping prior to getting in the bathtub - and in his excitement to get into the water with his brother to play with the new bath toy - neglecting to take care of proper sanitary business - resulting in my return to the bathroom to wash hair - only to find two little boys playing in bath water littered with pieces of (ahem) crap.  Because I have unlimited time to transport wet boys to another bathroom to scrub - then disinfect the bathtub and all contaminated toys with bleach.

And it goes on and on ...

Kids doing stupid stuff.  Me losing my patience.  Kids crying.  Me feeling horrible.

Clearly I'm not cut out for this.  And all of you who think I have it so 'together' and am doing such a 'great job' - yeah - I have you completely fooled.  Because I don't.  As evidenced by my night-time ritual of dissolving into tears.

I have to believe that the ends justify the means - but right now - at this moment in time when I'm in the thick of three very dependent children who are insanely curious and freakishly smart to come up with some of the stupid crap they do - I have to pause and wonder.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Smell of Strapping Tape....

11+ years of our life together - bundled up in a 16' POD

And so the moving frenzy begins...

Part of Deonne's relocation package includes a generous moving allowance.  When the time comes to actually make the move, professional packers are to come to our home to pack and box, lift and carry, transport and eventually unload the contents of our house.  Up to 12,000 pounds.  I have no idea what equates to 12,000 pounds.  Neither does Deonne.  And we have accumulated an enormous amount of crap beloved items in the 7+ years we've resided at Overcreek Road.

Thankfully, in addition to the 12,000 pounds of professional/packing moving services, we have an extra allowance for 'additional' items that we can use for shipping, storing, and other miscellaneous expenses such as mileage and per diem when we make the final move (kids included), airfare for house hunting trips, that sort of thing.  As part of that, we opted to have a POD delivered to the house - to load with all of the 'extra' things that we don't need on a day to day basis.

So for the last three days, we've been packing, boxing, taping, hauling, and sorting through our life together. And amazingly, it's all bundled up in a 16' POD.  (With ample room to spare, I might add, that Deonne wants to keep filling with random junk - that I'm certain we don't need and should really just toss ... but I digress...) At first I discriminated when packing - thought 'I might need that in the next few months' and kept some things out.  After three days of trips down amnesia lane, however, I'm over that.  If it's not absolutely critical to life as we know it - it's going in the POD.

Christmas, thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter (pretty much every holiday you can imagine) decorations, cookie cutters, cake pans, an enormous array of serving platters and bowls, glassware, glass jars, books, toys, textbooks, party planning stuff, tools, outdoor items, grilling tools - you name it - it's in the POD.  The only things that we've intentionally kept out are the fine china and crystal (I want the assurance that if it breaks - the moving company will replace), photographs (I don't think the POD is stored in a temperature/humidity controlled environment - and I'd be devastated if priceless family photos were somehow destroyed), and a few basics.

Our house sort of echos.  Cabinets sound hollow when the doors close.  Drawers rattle with the few remaining utensils.  The linen closet is nearly empty save one extra set of sheets per bed and a few extra towels.

It makes my heart heavy.

When we bought this house - we joked that it was our 'forever' home.  That we wouldn't move again until we went to the old-folks home.  It had so much space - so much potential - and at the time, it was just D and I and little Anna who was barely walking.  We imagined the pitter patter of little feet as she grew - and who her future sibling(s) would be.  I daydreamed of Anna walking down the stairs in her prom dress - with Deonne standing by a nervous boy in a suit holding a wilting flower corsage.  I fantasized about the family dinners we'd hold in our dining room - and as our family grew - wondered who the someday spouses and grandchildren would be that paired with each of our children.

I know.  I'm a sentimental fool.

So it's been hard to poke through the hidden storage places in our home - pulling out and dusting off the memories to pack away in boxes.  I know that we'll make new memories, have more family dinners, and certainly hear the pitter patter of little feet in our new house (probably more pitter-pattering than I'd like to hear.)  But it's always hard to say goodbye.

Hard to leave the house that became our home.

Hard to leave the place where my newborn boys came home from the hospital.

Hard to leave the home that was the last place my mother visited.

I think part of it (other than my tender heart) is that we don't know where we're going.  We don't know what the house will look like that we're eventually moving to - heck, we don't even know for sure what city we're moving to.  I don't have a floor plan or a kitchen to start organizing and decorating in my mind.  I don't have a living room to imagine where the Christmas tree will go.  I don't have a yard to daydream about which types of flowers to plant or where to put the patio table.

Which makes it all the more nerve wracking exciting.  I know it will be a great thing to get to the other side of this journey.  I know with my whole heart that this is an amazing opportunity for our whole family.  And I know it will be like Christmas morning when we get to our new home - and the kids and I get to unload the POD and discover the hidden gems we've tucked away.

But for now, I'm more than a bit sad.

And tired of the smell of strapping tape that permeates our house.