Home Sweet Home
Most of the boxes are unpacked, most of the pictures are on the wall, and most important, the worst is over. Moving in general is a headache. Moving a family, a business, 3 dogs, a teenager, and a pre-teen with Autism is next to impossible. I would know. When my husband left us back in March to come to New York for his new job, I stayed behind in California with the kids, and the dogs, to sell
and pack up the house. Simple and straightforward enough. About a month after he left, our house closed and we moved into an extended stay hotel. Our two smaller dogs were flown out across the country, while our German Shepherd went by van. What I did not account for through this incredibly unsettling time was the outpour of emotions, before, during, and after. And of course, the goodbyes are never easy. We had a small family in California, but they are dearly missed. I knew we would have days where we wanted to jump out of our skin, and rip the band aid off to make the pain and stress go away. But knowing what was awaiting us on the other side, we persisted.
Today, I sit here in our new home, listening to the rain, while the sun is still peeking out, and taking a huge sigh of relief that it's finally over. We now have an actual yard with grass, trees, bird feeders, and all kinds of little wildlife popping out from the bushes. These are the little things totally took for granted living in a condo, sharing walls, and not having a yard, or a place for the kids to go outside to roam, play with the dogs and enjoy.
My teenage daughter is no different. But, she is adjusting. Like most teenagers, the thing she misses most is her friends. She usually has her phone glued to her side and stays in touch with all of them, but for a high school sophomore, moving is usually at the bottom of the list. Just last weekend she restarted her horseback riding lessons locally, and school is set to begin in just under a month. She will be attending school with old friends that she left when we moved to California in 4th grade though, so that is helpful for her adjusting to upstate New York life again.
My son is also adjusting. He is having a little bit of a harder time though. We have seen a sharp decline in his aggressive behaviors, which is HUGE. However, his anxiety is up and manifests itself in different ways. He also misses his friends. He spends a lot of time with his cousins. It is wonderful. And, we are looking forward to him getting back into the swing of school, meeting some local friends his age, and being able to feel like himself again. He is having a particularly hard time with the death of his grandfather, last April. We flew in for the services, and he was right there with us through the whole thing. He was very understanding and helpful with the younger kids in the family. We thought he was doing wonderful with it. However, now that we live here, he is very emotional about it. He is having trouble just walking into my mother's house and seeing where his grandfather would always sit. But, now he is gone. It is hitting him like a train. We tell him that he's not in pain, or struggling to breath, walk, or move anymore. That he is always with him. Just this morning he asked me, "how is he always with me though?" I told him that you carry him in your heart. You honor him by doing things he would do. Help others, be kind, don't judge people, use your manners, and always, always, work hard and do your best at whatever task you are given. I am certain he will overcome his grief eventually. One day at a time.
So many people have asked me why we would want to move away from Southern California. I can't even count how many times people here in New York would say we were crazy. They would never move back. I used to say the very same thing. But, I look at it this way, my husband is not working 16 hours a day, I am no longer the "single mom" like all my friends used to jokingly call me. We have a home of average size. We drive average cars. We do average things with our time. We are not rich. What we do have is a quality of life here that was not realistically achievable in Southern California. We are a one-income family. I run a non-profit at home. I am a stay-at-home-Mom. My goal in this crazy, unpredictable world is to live a simple life, raise my children, enjoy the life and love I have built with my husband, and stay home on Sundays in my pajamas, drinking coffee, and snuggling with my dogs. My husband is enjoying his newfound time outside of work by spending more time with the family, mowing the lawn, barbecuing hot dogs and hamburgers, and socializing with our lovely neighbors. The smile on his face just puttering around the house makes my heart happy.
I have so many different little happy spots throughout our new house. It's hard to pick a favorite. My husband spent many, many days with our real estate agent (my uncle), trying to find just the right house for our family and for The Soothing Stitches Project. These two did not rest until they hit the nail on the head. So for all my whining about how my husband had the easier situation not having to worry about the kids, and "just looking at houses" after work, I would love to shove my foot right into my big mouth! I was rewarded with my own quiet space to work, design, and sew my blankets. I don't have to share, I don't have to explain, I can just be.