Oh man, I realize now that the picture in my last post is less humorous and more alarming, given that it was followed by an extended absence with no explanation. I promise I did not drink myself under the table. We just moved.
Actually, we moved twice. We moved to a temporary place and then to a new house, and we’re still settling in, and I deactivated (then reactivated) my facebook account, so I’ve kind of been….in a transitional state. Some people might call it a midlife crisis, but I haven’t yet had enough disposable income to dye my hair an exciting color and get an exciting new piercing, so I think I don’t think it’s earned that moniker yet.
Let’s talk about moving, instead of my mid-life-crisis.
Moving is the worst. I know we all know this, and I’ve moved enough times to have experienced it, but this time it was a new kind of worst, and here’s why.
We could not find a place to rent in Ave that we could afford, and shockingly, the landlords did not accept blond children in lieu of rent. (I thought this was supposed to be a family-friendly town, too. smh.) Luckily, my parents did not choose academia as a road to financial instability, so they offered to buy a house as an investment, and allow us to rent it from them. This was incredibly generous of them, obviously, and since our only other viable plan was “sell a kidney (or two) in Mexico”, we gratefully accepted. (sidenote: they are the best)
This is where it gets cool/weird. At the exact same time, our next door neighbors (you might know them as the Shakespeare savant and my Ave bff, the kindest domestic goddess ever) decided to upsize to a house more suited for teenagers, and began talking about selling their house. Their house with 4 bedrooms, a red living room, and a backyard with a fence and playset. Their magical kingdom of order and cappuccinos and saltimbocca so good it kills you dead.
So my parents bought their house, and after a 2-week mini vacation in Naples (because we had 2 weeks after we had to be out of our old house but before we could move into theirs), we moved in.
But here’s the thing — even though we moved into their house, we remained the same people. No one cleaned or picked up after themselves any more than they did in our old house, including me. Our pictures were still hung haphazardly without much sense. We still had crappy Goodwill furniture and children with unbrushed hair. Our cappuccinos did not miraculously improve, and killer saltimbocca did not magically appear on our plates. Our paper, paper plates.
After trying to fix our things with just the things we had failed, and trying to make things cleaner just by yelling failed harder, I retreated into facebook. I spent my days rocking Isaac (who remains a magical squish, thank God) and trolling online yard sales, weeping for what might have been had I learned how to trade stocks instead of scan poetry. Eventually I let the ick of the internet drag me under and drown me alive, full fathom five and coral bones and everything. Sadly my life is still not a Shakespearean tragedy, so nothing became rich and strange. It just became pathetic and questionably hygienic. Toward the end, Charlotte began walking around the house, sniffing and saying, “something stinks” until she made her way to me. Then she would look up at me solemnly and say, “don’t you want to take a shower, Mommy?”
I gave up giving up after that, because giving up is weirdly exhausting and pretty gross. I deactivated facebook for a week, resumed exercising and showering, and rejoined the living. I ordered chore charts for the kids, mopped the dang floor like a grown-up, made stock, and sent my husband to buy groceries instead of frozen pizza. And now I’m here, dusting off my typing-fingers and oversharing into the void.
Last night, after a bewildering game of Pathfinder, the Ogre and I curled up on the couch to watch a movie. Afterward, I checked on all my sleeping minions and then headed to our room. Just as I was about to climb into bed, I noticed some toys on my pillow. Swallowing my annoyance, (because didn’t I say no Pathfinder until all the toys were put away?) I picked up a box made out of magna tiles. Inside it were two carefully placed race cars and a bubble-gum wrapper.
My irritation vanished. Knowing the currency in the land of minions, I knew this was a priceless gift. My family might not do all the things I want them to and our home might not look the way I think it should, but I’ve got a pretty awesome family going on here — and I love them just the way they are.
I mean, maybe they could put clothes in the hamper instead of next to the hamper, though. Just saying.