We just moved yesterday. I’m still dazed. It was about a 13-hour moving day, from the moment I got out of bed at dawn to move my car in front of the house to save the spot for the moving truck (otherwise a commuter would park there for the day) to the moment I walked in the door of the new house with my kids and said, “Here’s our new house!”
It’s been a dizzying week. Fortunately my children were with their father for 9 days straight (vacation), which gave me plenty of time in the evenings to pack, sort, discard, organize. Stay up far too late. Get up too early. Do it again the next day, before and after work (and, since I work from home, perhaps I packed a box or two over lunch, or had someone stop by during the day to buy an outgrown bike or pick up something I no longer needed).
One of my older brothers offered to come up and help with the move. At first I refused. After all, this year I’d hired actual movers! Actual professional movers who came recommended. But then I reconsidered, and for many reasons agreed to it.*
He was amazing. He refused to let me leave the little piles of crap “for next week, I can deal with them then.” No, he wanted the apartment EMPTY. He bagged stuff. He brought a load to the new house himself, came back, and loaded my plants (including container-garden tomatoes and rhubarb, not just houseplants!) into his minivan while I followed the movers to the new place.
He’d hoped to return home (a different state) before traffic got too heavy, but when I couldn’t connect my new Internet service, he helped troubleshoot it. I was on the phone with tech support while he put together my kids’ beds and rolled out their rug. Then he jerryrigged something in the basement (missing coax and splitter) and got things up and running, and moved and set up the TV so that my kids could have their usual Friday movie night in the new place (keeping things normal for them…and the TV is an old street find, and I really truly don’t know what connects to what or how to make things work…but I do know how to use the Roku remote at this point, if everything is properly connected, and he made sure it was).
He hit the road, I picked up my children in our old town, and together we walked into the new house, furnished but of course with boxes everywhere. We ordered pizza delivery based on our new next-door neighbor’s recommendation. The lovely neighbor herself showed up soon after our arrival with homemade frosted cupcakes, chocolate for one child and vanilla for the other (she’d asked me their preferences a few days earlier).
We checked out the new neighborhood while the pizza cooled on the coffee table. (By “checked out the new neighborhood,” I mean that the children ran outside shirtless, and one jumped on the baby-toy inchworm-on-wheels while the other pushed him down the hill in the middle of the (no traffic at that time) street (yes I was by their side), lots of shouting and mayhem and observing some of our neighbor’s amazing front-yard fruit trees and joy, until I made them put shirts on and eventually made them come home for dinner and a movie.
I was so tired, I didn’t read to them, kept bedtime short, and crawled right into bed after saying goodnight to them.
AND THEN I COULDN’T SLEEP. WHAT IN THE HELL. I couldn’t find my regular blanket. I think that was part of it. It’s weighty but not hot. I like that. I had a lightweight blanket on me. And the window AC’s (which I’m not used to) seemed loud.
I fell asleep, finally. And then I woke up. Like, fully woke up. It was midnight.
I gave in, came downstairs, and made lists. Grocery lists (I mean, my kids were gone for 9 days, I ran out of everything, and I just moved. We need groceries; they’re not going to eat raw scallions, stale pita bread, and miso). Meal plans (ha!! As if I can find any pots or anything yet!). An IKEA/Target/hardware store list.
When I ran out of lists, I was ready to go back to bed. It was close to 4 a.m.
Children piled in with me/next to me/everywhere (there are so many of them, sometimes, even though really there are only two) and I didn’t want to wake up, then they remembered they had to finish the movie from last night, so they scampered downstairs and I half-slept on for a bit until I realized if I didn’t throw food at them soon we’d all be sorry.
I had bought mini chocolate croissants the day before from the bakery, so I offered those and juice (yes! all the sugar! Sometimes I make exceptions to all my usual rules). We had no milk, anyway, and the coffee tasted like crap so I wasn’t about to offer that (kidding! about offering them coffee–but it did taste like crap).
For some reason the kids were gung-ho to go out and get what we needed: a water filter pitcher (because we agreed our tap water doesn’t taste good), a longer extension cord for the lawn mower, gardening gloves, groceries. These children normally hate running errands or going ANYWHERE on a Saturday morning, but they wanted to get stuff done. We stopped for breakfast, thankfully, because we were all running out of steam.
And let’s fast-forward the long sleepy day, we ended up at Walden Pond in a hard rainstorm that soon cleared and it was gorgeous and fun and refreshing, then we grilled dinner while playing in the yard.
Anyway, let me sum up. So an hour after we move in, the neighbor shows up with TWO PLATES OF CUPCAKES, each kid’s favorite flavor. Then tonight someone parked in front of my house (it’s a little neighborhood where everyone has driveways) and she ASKED ME IF IT BOTHERED ME THAT SHE PARKED THERE. My heavens. I said no, that I’m new here and don’t know the parking rules, but it doesn’t bother me, and thanks for asking.
Then TWO HOURS LATER some people knock on my door. They notice the car’s lights are on and want to know if it’s mine because they don’t want me to have a dead battery in the morning. We all introduce ourselves and I say that the parker of the car was going to visit “Leslie or Leah or something like that in the yellow house, but not the yellow house next door because the people who live there are named _______ and ______,” and the people knocking at my door, who live just down the street, said, “Oh, LEAH, right!” and say they will to go her house to tell her visitor about her car lights.
*And let me here give massive thanks to one of my other older brothers who showed up for the inspection and offered his advice, and to my parents, massively. Thanks, family, for all your incredible support and belief in me.