Dear Son #1, #2, & #3,
You know your Mommy and Daddy, we’re always up for trying new things and we like to encourage you to do the same, otherwise life is just far too boring. In hindsight maybe it would have been a more relaxing summer if we hadn’t have spontaneously bought a 100-acre farm, but never mind, because this is going to be way more fun in the long run. So after a Father’s Day viewing, a three-week-long closing where we averaged about five hours of sleep a night, and a lot of borrowed totes (of which about 25% will probably never find their way back home) we were moving to a different home. Not too far (about five-minutes away) but it was going to be new, different, and just a little bit scary—And that’s just me thinking about cleaning three pee-soaked bathrooms now instead of two. We were going from town life to country life, from small property to big property, from low maintenance to high maintenance, from walkers to bussers, and from underwhelming to overwhelming. All in a short span of three weeks, therefore making physical, mental, and emotional preparations for this new journey absolutely impossible.
As I began to pack up our lives and seriously become faced with the high probability that we could end up on an episode of “Hoarders”; I would constantly question all aspects of this spontaneous and life-changing move we were about to embark on.
“Is this move good for the boys? For us?”
“Are we biting off more than we can chew?”
“Is this the life we want to have and the work we want to do?”
“Are we going to miss our old house and neighbours?”
“Are we just completely insane?”
Other than the last question—which was an absolute YES—I had no answers. I didn’t know how to answer your questions either, as much as I wanted to. I was more or less hoping you would love it, feel at home, be comfortable and happy. I just kept reassuring you how amazing it would be and what a great move it was for us. But boys, I really I didn’t know, it was all so new.
Two days. It took less than two days to move our millions of possessions to our new home with the help of our family who we paid in chicken wings and beer—and I have never been more happy to have you boys gone for a weekend sleepover with your cousins. I did my best to label all of our boxes to where I thought things should go, direct everyone on how or where I wanted furniture laid out, figure out on the fly what I needed right away or what could wait, and get the house as “homey” feeling as possible. It was most definitely challenging, frustrating and overwhelming, it was all so new.
Our first night there as a family was very exciting as you explored your new room and all the hidden nooks and crannies it offered—I silently made a note to myself to check these areas often for discarded diapers, chewed apple cores and moldy socks. You slid and skidded up and down the hallways “skating” in your socks, you ran in and out of all the bathrooms (no doubt figuring out how to defile them later) and you opened and shut all the doors until we told you to stop…I guess because doors are fun? While we unsuccessfully tried to get you in your pyjamas, you bounced on your beds because it was the first time you have ever done that—since on bunk beds that never ends well. We tucked you in and while we did our best to find every item you could possibly need for being unconscious for 11 hours, there were still some things that were missing-in-action. I promised that the next day I would find the latest thing you couldn’t live without and when you wanted to know why I didn’t know where it was now, well, it was all so new.
The rest of the summer was a blur as we unpacked boxes, made many trips to the dump, fixed things that were broken or about to become broken, cleaned everything that could be cleaned, and evicted a variety of guests of the furry, slimy, and crawly persuasion. Every day there would be a new surprise, sometimes good like the hidden clubhouse we found after removing a large tree; and sometimes bad like how the upstairs bath tub drains right through the basement ceiling. Many things we had to learn how to do such as keep a pool from going green, how to stack wood properly without dropping logs on your foot, how to paint a room that smells like cat pee, how to fix a variety of plumbing, electrical, and automotive problems and how to stop and take a breath. That, by far, was the hardest part. There was so much to do, so much to learn, so much to take in, it was all so new.
We made it though. We’re still all in one piece and still like each other most days. We’ve taken some breaths, learned to let some things go, and embraced all the surprises (well, most of them). You’ve stopped asking me when we’re going back to our old home and, in turn, starting to call this place home. We are loving all the space, the fresh air and being surrounded by nature. We are loving the fact that there are no neighbours to see you when you run outside naked or hear me when I yell something like “HANDS OFF YOUR BROTHER’S PENIE!!!”. We are loving all the adventures we have been on, the places we’ve explored and the plans we have for the future. We are truly loving the newness.
We still have more work to do, more boxes to unpack, more spaces to clean, more disagreements to be had, and more critters to evict. But I’m excited and I hope you are too, because it’s all so new.
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This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Novel”.