Moving Sucks

So first off, I just want to say that it is okay to have a shitty day or a shitty week - it just happens.  I wasn’t so good at making lemonade out of lemons this week, and it definitely wasn’t my shining moment for mom of the year, but I am doing the best I can… I think.  

It has been about 2 ½ years of planning and hoping and strategizing how we can remodel our house and make it more liveable for a family of five with three boys getting bigger by the day.  We started off thinking we were rich, and could build an amazing dream home… but have come to realize, we are not rich, we have a ton of expenses with private schools and therapies, and we are going to be building our dream home, just on a smaller scale.  This process has been stressful and emotional. I have picked out faucets and fixtures, tile and lighting, placed furniture in rooms and had a vision for 5 different floor plans… each time filled with excitement, only to end in disappointment … change of plans.  So on this last round, I held my excitement back and held off on any planning until the day we got our building permit. It wasn’t until the fence was put up around the house and the port-a - potty arrived, that I celebrated.

The plan had always been to move into my grandfather's home, which has been vacant for 3 years.  He is at an assisted living home, and so graciously is allowing us to stay, rent free… I think he is happy that we are here.  He built this home after purchasing the land in 1940. There is life again, a family - his fourth generation great grandkids, living in his home… memories will be made and new times will be spent in this home.  The house that Jack built.

The day arrived, and the moving van was ready to roll.  You would think I would be ready for this after such a long time waiting.  The truth is, moving SUCKS. I am a mom, a crazy mom. Three boys, a dog, a cat, 2 leopard geckos, a snake and bearded dragon all needing to be moved and settled.  I don't’ have a free week with nothing going on, allowing me to pack and purge and move without panic and feeling completely un-rushed. I have kids sitting on their asses doing nothing but watching their phones.  Actually I take that back, they are doing something, asking me for a drink, or snack, or to help them with something (and not their homework), to tie their shoes, or do their hair, pick out their clothes or help them master some insanely stupid “trick” they are watching on youtube.  So I should give them a break, they are doing a lot.

Boxes are packed, movers have moved and we are doing this.  Half our furniture didn’t fit into Grandpa Jack’s house… we forget how homes were built, compartmentalized and definitely smaller, not meant to accommodate the massive furniture or quantities of crap we have needlessly acquired.  Thank god I had two couches, it would be a devastation to not have somewhere for the boys to flop. My husband was smart, and knew it was a life or death situation to get the WIFI up before we moved in. Verizon showed up when they were supposed to between 9am and 4pm… again, so lucky that I have free time to sit and wait all day.  Everything was hooked up and ready to go. The minute we walk through the doors, “Mom, there is no wifi.” WTF, seriously??? After hours on the phone with customer service, it was discovered they F’d up and put in the wrong box. We would have to wait 2 days. 2 days, are you kidding me??? Do they not have kids? Do they not know what it is like to have kids that don’t know how to breathe without WIFI?!?!?  This is when the wine and cocktails come in handy. That was another thing that was stocked before we moved in…. Only the necessities of survival. We managed to survive, I am not sure how, it was all a blur. Not sure if I was losing my mind or it was the alcohol, but I am glad it is a distant memory and my kids are back to ignoring me and being as lazy and useless as ever.

My husband is so helpful, but of course has to go to work.   I continue to go back and forth between the two houses taking loads of remaining stuff I can’t remember purchasing or owning.  I have lifted boxes and moved furniture, I am beaten and bruised, tired and bitchy, but I trudge onward. Everyone is settled in the house, everyone except for me, moms always last.  I had to make sure the boys felt comfortable, as much like home as possible, with all their things. Caden had said for the past year he didn’t want to move to Grandpa Jack’s house. It is new, it can be scary, change is scary sometimes and my boys like routine.  I like routine.

I am finally starting to come down from my high level of stress and insanity.  Not from choice, but more from the fact that I came close to death. Not really, but I did eat shit.  Stepping over a baby gate that I had in the front doorway - put there to get fresh air and to make sure my dog didn’t get out - my foot caught the gate and I flew… yes flew across the front porch.  I somehow managed not to hit my face. It all happened so fast. All I know is that I knocked two large cement planters off the side of the porch with my body… Maybe I should thank the succulents for breaking my fall.  I walked away feeling like a jackass and knowing that I needed to slow down…

Those that know me, know I only have one speed, fast… I never sit still, always on the go.  I continued moving boxes, but reminded myself to high step over the baby gate and to be a little more cautious.  Having OCD and being a total neat freak isn’t helping this situation. There is no storage in this house, so I have had to buy bins, and rolling racks, and use every organizational skill I have to make this place functionable.  There are boxes and bins, toys and shoes, laundry and backpacks every step I take. It truly has taken everything I have not to totally FREAK.

I felt a little sense of peace today… but I should know better that it wouldn’t last long.  I came home from a much needed workout. My stress was gone, I did something for myself and I felt ready to tackle the day.  As I opened the front door and walked into the hall, I saw the horror of what remained of my couch. My dog had so lovingly left his muddy paw prints all over … and when I say all over, I mean… ALL OVER.  I was taken back to a time when Kyle was a toddler and threw up all over my couch and I just stood there looking at him, waiting for his head to spin around. This time, I think it was my head that was spinning around.  I walked into the bathroom and sat, I didn’t let the tears come, strong like I always am, and no time for emotion. I took a minute to take some deep breaths and headed for my beloved Dyson.

We are in and somewhat settled.  The time here will definitely be memorable.  Within the past two weeks, the toilet has leaked and had to be replaced, the washer was leaking and we had to replace the drain tube, the kitchen sink was backing up and we needed to put in a new garbage disposal, the oven doesn’t work, the dog is figuring out the doggie door after having several accidents on the carpet, but there is amazing hot water and the shower reminds me of camp, the kids are happy and comfortable in the home and everything is finding its place.  There are tons of kids on the street to play with, including a friend in Caden’s class that we are carpooling with - bonus! The street is flat and Maguire is in heaven playing basketball out front and riding his scooter, I have a closet all to myself, and best of all, our house is about to start transforming for the next chapter of our lives. I am in no rush… I need time to recover from this move before I have to do it all over again.

Angela Wingard