Our house is officially a complete disaster area, half boxes, half business as usual. It’s a tricky thing to live in a place and carry about your regular routine and be simultaneously preparing to uproot yourself. And man, after eight years in one place, uprooting is a BIG pain in the ass. Like most Americans, we’ve got way more crap than we need, and while we’ve offloaded tons to charity, freecycle, and the junk man (I like to think of there being just one little old man who goes around carting away everyone’s junk), there’s lots that we can’t or don’t want to part with.
It’s strange, packing up the china closet and finding fancy serving dishes and bowls and things we got as wedding gifts that we literally haven’t touched since the girls were born. I look at them and think of how much younger we were when we occasionally used them as a kid-free couple, and yet how old and sophisticated we felt to have such grown-up things! And here we are, forty, much more grown up, and much too exhausted to host dinner parties with fancy serving dishes for friends who would have to pay sitters to come anyway. Maybe in five, ten years, we’ll use the fancy things again. And then not too long after that, we’ll be giving the same kinds of things as wedding gifts to our friends’ kids, for them to use for a few years before they reproduce.
Sunrise, Sunset! Sunrise, Sunset! Swiftly flow the days…
Yes, this is what this move is doing to me: In the midst of all the cardboard and tape and logistics, I have these moments of reflection and awareness that this is a Big Life Change. We’re leaving our first house, where our girl were born. And before we know it, they’ll be grown and out of the house and starting families of their own, and then we’ll move again, to some nice little condo with the bedroom on the first floor, and then we’ll be dead.
And yet, I am so ready. (To move to our new house, that is. Not to be dead.) I will miss this dear house we’ve been in for the past eight years, but it’s time to leave. Mentally, in fact, I’ve already left. I got through the little surge of emotion and crying and disorientation and second thoughts right after we signed the P&S for the place we’re buying, and now I’m ready. Well, not totally ready. You never can be. (As poor Elsa, crying, said tonight: “I’m just not ready to leave my school yet! We’ve only been there for two years!”) But ready enough.
Speaking of transitions:
Only two more rounds of treatment to go for Clio. Two! After two years. This I really haven’t processed yet. No medications and plastic syringes cluttering our kitchen? No Lovenox shots before bedtime? No having to pack up a whole bag full of bottles and pills before we go anywhere? No more equating “fever” with “ER visit”? It’s crazy to imagine it all suddenly going away.
We’re coming right up to Clio’s Cancerversary. In fact, it was almost exactly two years ago that we first took her to the pediatrician to try to figure out what the hell was going on with her — the fevers and the worsening aches and pains. Lyme disease? Arthritis? Or — I know, I’m just being a hysterical, over-informed mother here, reading too much on the Internet, but please just tell me it’s not — leukemia? Oh, phew! Blood looks normal. Thank goodness. Now I just feel silly. (Flash forward less than three weeks….at the ER on a beautiful late June morning, getting the news…)
Last year around this time I was very, very aware of all the “this time last year”s. This year, not so much. In part because, well, we’re two years out now, so it’s not quite as raw. But I think also because we’re on the brink of this big move. So this spring doesn’t feel exactly like the one before and the one before that. As a result, it doesn’t feel quite as haunted.
And I’m glad. I’m also glad that the move is distracting us — temporarily at least — from the fact that Clio’s treatment is coming to a close. (As we suspected it would.) There is still much to process and ponder — and write about — with regard to our crappy little boat trip. But for now, we are focused on the work at hand: Packing. And packing. And packing.
Have you seen that Sharpie I was just using? I know it’s around here somewhere….