One Week In

A week ago today I sat in this living room and sent box after box of stuff to either the basement or the back porch. What the heck is in all these boxes? As of Imagetoday we have made a sizable dent — our bedrooms are organized and our clothes put away, and the kitchen is more or less functional. But still, this.

I am really really really interested in turning over a new leaf in this house. Now that three out of four of us have been diagnosed with ADHD we have an idea of what we are up against. Developing good new habits is key. Reading this article on Facebook provides even more motivation. But when it comes time to remind the children to close the cabinet door they opened, to throw away the empty yogurt container, to not shove dirty and clean clothes indiscriminately into drawers, over and over and over again — well, it seems pretty much impossible. On the other hand, it’s my job, whether I resent it or not. My next step is to develop daily and weekly routines for the summer, to include chores and study time for all. Just the thought of it kind of gives me the willies, and it hasn’t actually been done yet (watch this space for proof that it really happened!). But it’s going to happen. There, I said it — public accountability!

In other news, both boys love their new schools which is really amazing and wonderful. The neighbors have proven to be friendly and nice — one brought her whole family over to welcome us along with homemade brownies and menus for all of their favorite takeout restaurants. There are lots of kids in the neighborhood and the boys have played outside with friends much more than they ever did in Ohio. And we haven’t eaten a bad meal yet.

Now that things are settling down somewhat (and the dishwasher is supposed to be fixed soon) I need to kick into housewife mode big time before the kids are home for the summer. There is nightly dInner to prepare, dog hair to be swept up, laundry to be done, linen closet to be filled, office to be organized, and many, many boxes left to unpack. Then, make a budget and timeline for summer activities. Make a budget, period (everything is expensive). Tiptoe into the local birth world. Decide whether to continue my schooling in the fall. It’s a lot.

As my sweet husband likes to remind me, “bird by bird” is how it’s done. From the great Anne Lamott:

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Westward ho!

IMG_3390Late this winter Big Poppa left town to start a great new job in the big city for a few months. And today we leave our home of the last ten years to start a new adventure.

Between then and now, I held down the fort and managed the wild boys, sold our house, threw a going-away party for us, made an epic road trip over Spring Break involving six different destinations and buying our new house, sadly closed out my teaching career at two local hospitals, enjoyed a surprise party thrown by my girlfriends, got an A in the college biology course I was taking … and then got really sick. Thankfully the latter coincided with Dad’s arrival for the big move and he has capably taken over the whole show while making sure I can rest and recuperate.

Case in point: I’m lounging in a hotel outside Toledo with HBO on in the background while he spent the day emptying out the house and is now driving this way along with two kids and a dog  in a Ford Focus that is, according to my mother, packed to the brim. Like, literally nothing else would fit anywhere.  Glad I missed it.

We love you Mrs. K.

The last week has been hugely emotional and so affirming, rather like attending your own funeral. The boys’ teachers and friend went all out with formal and thoughtful goodbyes, and I was sobbing as D’s teacher read from a book his classmates had made for him.

Nana and boys

The boys spent their last afternoon in our old city with my mom, who has been an almost daily presence in their lives for as far back as they can remember. This was the hardest part about leaving.

On a happier note, we are all looking forward to a fresh start — hence this post to my long-neglected blog. Seems like a perfect time to become more intentional about this writing practice and to share my life in greater detail with friends I’ve left behind. Our life is so rich and full and so much slips away — I look forward to documenting these days more carefully.

We sleep in hotels tonight and tomorrow and with any luck will be in our new house Monday night. Chicago, here we come!