A little slack

There’s this thing at happens when you’re generally upbeat and organized: you end up with less slack. As in, you can’t say “cut me some slack” because you’ve never needed any, so nobody even knows what to give you.

I need a little slack. I don’t know who needs to give it to me. Well, no, I do know. I need to give it to me.

It is not easy. It takes effort and skill to keep your eyes forward, to be at peace with the temporary chaos around you (because it is in fact temporary). It takes a certain level of… Something… To just handle things because you’re supposed to.

Helping your grade-school age kids through a move? It is f’ing hard. I cannot show them how hard it is. I cannot share my worries or concerns–the general ones: Will they make friends? Will they feel like their classroom is something they fit into? Will they look forward to waking up in the morning?

I can only model “optimism and a love of adventure,” and keep my fingers crossed that they make friends quickly, that they are happy, that they are excited.

It’s working. Our daughter said tonight, “I’m excited again. I have friends.” I wanted to cry, I was so happy. I knew she would be okay, but now she knows she’s more than okay. Our son? He comes home and tells elaborate stories about his day, about his friends, he talks and talks and talks. He never used to talk so much. He has three new friends “who follow directions” and are “good,” in his words. He wants to invite them over for a birthday play date. I’m all over it.

Everything is fine. We’re doing great.

I don’t need no stinkin’ slack.

two more weeks

We fly north in two weeks. Two weeks from yesterday, actually. Our children will start at their new school on May 12… and if we’re lucky our moving truck with all our belongings (and second car) will arrive then, too. Or at least by the 15th. We’ll see.

Moving is one of life’s big stressors, right? All that change and upheaval. I have to admit, I like the change and upheaval. I like that professional movers come in and touch everything I own and transport it all for me. I like surrendering a bit. I even like the challenge of figuring out new systems and rules in cities and schools, all the hassle that is involved with setting up a new household. Maybe I’ve been watching the kids play Minecraft too much, but there’s something very rewarding about creating something new and figuring things out without any directions or expectations.

But the part that causes real stress, real anguish, is the actual leaving. The “good-bye.” I. Hate. It. So very, very much. It hurts, you see.

Last night my neighborhood friends threw me a little party. We hadn’t gotten together in a while and it was beyond lovely to reconnect and catch up. They gave me little gifts that represented each of them:  Homemade wind chimes, a plateful of cookies, a travel wine mug celebrating obsessive-compulsive tendencies, a toy frog, a coffee mug filled with a hot cocoa pack and marshmallows… and a doll with an injured and horribly askew leg holding a flag that reads “Man down!” — in six and a half years, a lot of funny and sweet stuff happens. It felt so good to remember. I haven’t laughed so hard or cried/laughed (craughed?) so hard in so long.

Then they gave me these.



And then, THEN, they sang me a song. They got up in front of me and sang an adapted version of “Hey Soul Sister,” with lyrics re-written by my dear friend who has one of the busiest lives I know of.

Lyrics like “Your move-north pains are in our hearts and eyes and in our brains. We know we wouldn’t forget you, and so we went and let you move up north…. Now we’re few and blue, on the boulevard, in the yard, the way you move ain’t fair, it’s hard… We don’t wanna miss a single thing you do.” If this blog weren’t anonymous and if my friends would allow it I’d post the video. It is epic and bittersweet, like the finest bar of dark chocolate.

It was all too much for me to bear. I can’t even type these words without crying.

I’ve been so extraordinarily lucky, to have moved onto a street populated with great women and good neighbors who turned into true friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do in a couple weeks on a new street, in a new home… Will anybody bring me a plate of cookies? Will anybody run over and introduce themselves and give me everybody’s name and number, and then bring us dinner? Will I be invited to birthday parties, or to long-weekend girls’ getaways? Will I meet friends who can stop by on quiet weeknights when my husband is traveling, and enjoy a glass of wine, and talk and laugh for hours?

It has been idyllic, our life on this street. We’ve been safe and welcomed and happy and healthy.

It will hurt to leave. As excited as I am to start fresh, as thrilled as I am for new opportunities, for growth… It will hurt to leave. A lot.


Facts worth sharing

We’ve endured about two and a half years of knowing things and not sharing everything. Well, we’d share, but not broadly, and never completely. It’s counter to my nature, not to share. It got to where I was censoring myself in this blog, because its readership grew. Everything was so absurd.

Past tense. Did you notice that?

Here are some facts I’d like to share. Because I can, now.

Present tense.

The company my husband worked for, once a joint venture between two larger parent companies, is now a sole venture, owned by one of the parent companies. (There was a divorce, if you will, with a huge settlement.) My husband, assigned to the venture by one of the parent companies (his official employer), has been (finally) released and promoted. To carry the marriage metaphor further, his employer gave up custody of the venture, and as such, no longer needed my husband to serve as its financial caregiver.

It was a big deal. Big enough to disrupt our lives for two and half years (if inertia can count as disruption), big enough for my husband to be willing to take one for the team and put his career on hold in order to meet his employer’s needs.

And now it’s over. His new job with his ever-present employer officially starts today, about 1200 miles north of his wife and children. And because we never do things the easy way, he’s currently working with his team offsite, about 7500 miles away. He’ll return Thursday, to the place due north, and live, at least on weekdays, in temporary housing. He’ll come home on weekends, until we leave this house and move into our new one.

We’ll all be together in our new home by mid-May. Yep. We’re really, truly moving. We’ll be on a plane on May 9 or 10 (whichever day has the better airfare).

We’ve been preparing and planning and plotting and what have you for a while now. We took that house hunting trip in late February, and found and bought a house in about 36 hours. The next weekend, we chose a listing agent to sell our home. The weekend after that, our house was on the market for about three days, and in that time, we showed it 15 times and had three offers. So, we sold it in about 36 hours. We set up the schedule for the moving company… they’ll pack and move our things over the course of… about 36 hours… during the first week of May. The truck with all of our physical belongings will arrive at our new home between May 12 and 15.

Between now and then, I really only have to figure out how to make sure the kids are enrolled in school so that they can attend for the remaining four weeks of the year. “Figuring out” means waiting for the appropriate paperwork to be available. I should also figure out how to make lunches for the kids during the last week we’re here but living in a hotel while our home is packed up. (They don’t like school-sold lunches.) Figuring that out might require asking for some help from a friend or two.

As I told my husband, if these are my big concerns, I basically have no concerns. He agreed. (He’s exceptionally good at humoring me.)


This is our current home. We’ve lived here since January, 2008. Our children swim like fish, fear nothing in nature, and barely know how to tie shoes, as shoes have been virtually unnecessary here. It has been a lovely place to raise young children.





And this is our new home. I’m pretty sure the snow will have melted by the time we arrive. I’m not sure how long we’ll live here. Three years? Five? Whatever it is, I look forward to sharing.