It’s been exactly three weeks since we moved in. Since the kids started school. Since the moving truck arrived. Since everything changed, and since so much bounced… or rolled, like a wave… or like a tsunami?… back to normal.
First things first: The children. They like their school, and have each made friends.
Our son has made three friends in particular who will come by on Saturday for a playdate/birthday party. (I haven’t been so nervous in years, calling up three mothers and saying, “Hi, we moved here last week and our son likes your son and would like to have him over for a play date and really low key birthday celebration.” It all worked out nicely, of course.) I volunteered at Field Day and met some other parents and lots of kids. It was fun.
Our daughter has made a couple of girlfriends, and it continues to surprise her how many students know who she is. “Because I’m new,” she explained. (One of her new friends is the big sister of one of our son’s friends. That pleases me to no end.) There is one girl, however, who for whatever reason, does not like our daughter. She’s tried for a couple of weeks now to rally other girls around her cause, but it seems not to be working, thankfully. I’ve volunteered to help out at the third grade picnic… I can’t wait to meet this girl and be so wonderfully nice to her. But my daughter warned me not to be “crazy,” like I usually am, like I was with her classmates at her old school. “These girls are quiet, Mom, they won’t understand.” I promised her I’d be normal and quiet. (Though it pained me a little, that she is learning so soon that a person needs to adapt to new surroundings, sometimes by stifling a little part of oneself, if only temporarily.)
I kind of know what she means: “These girls are quiet.”
Second thing: We’re hanging with a different set of people, with a different set of norms. We took a walk around our neighborhood last night, with the kids on their bikes. Down the road a bit, you turn a corner and head into what can only be called “Mansion Land.” The homes are… estates. My husband and I were looking and trying not to audibly gasp or simply shout, “Holy crap, that’s HUGE!”
Then our daughter said, “Oh yeah, my friend lives there.” She pointed to a home that I can only describe as hotel-like.
“Really?” I asked. “Was this just the bus stop, or does she really live in this house?”
She confirmed, “Well, she and her sister ran up those steps and into those doors, so I think they live there. But I have another friend, she lives in a different house, and it’s way bigger than this one. It’s like a castle.”
“Oh,” I said.
I stand corrected: We live around the corner from Castle Land.
Third thing: Introducing myself. I like doing it. I really, really like doing it. Folks here are very nice, very friendly, and plenty are from other places. I met a woman at my son’s Field Day (we worked the Home Run Derby game together) and perhaps her second question to me was “What do you do for a living?” And I answered, “I’m a writer.” Because I am. A hard-working one, at that.
Fourth thing: My husband. He is… well, he is just the best. He works a ten to eleven hour day, comes home, and works on the house. Over Memorial Day weekend, he worked each day with me, 12 to 14 hours a day: Assembling furniture, organizing, unpacking, cleaning, striking boxes, installing lighting fixtures, painting… We were going non-stop. This weekend, we took it easier. Though this morning instead of going for a run, he started looking at this desk we thought we had to sell (wouldn’t fit through the office’s skinny door) and determined he could take it apart and reassemble it. And so he did. He didn’t stop until he was done. He eventually went for his run, and even took the kids to the park, so that I could organize the office and unpack books. And he leaves for Asia next Sunday, to return Friday. He is the best. He fears so little and enjoys a challenge, wants to work hard and solve problems. I’m so absurdly lucky.
All told: Three weeks in, we have a few boxes in our guest room, we have things to hang on walls. And, we need to repair a crack in the garage floor. We also need to fix our shower stall in the master bath, since it’s leaking and created a spot in our foyer’s ceiling. We’d also like to add a bathroom to the basement. And update the kids’ bathroom (which my husband can do–did I mention that he replaced a toilet in the first floor half-bath our first Saturday night here?).
But everything else? We’re home.