Thank you for your kind comments – what a buoy! I’ve been quite blue, but I recognize that it will pass. We spent our last night in our beautiful, perfect house all together on a king mattress on the floor in our master bedroom. I slept about five minutes, given Liam’s predilection for flailing in his sleep – but I was cozy and warm, snuggled up with our big boys. I like having them close to me in times of change, even if it means I get socked in the nose by a five year old who suffers from sleep-fighting.
We all woke together and ate our breakfast sitting criss cross applesauce on the floor. Then we walked them to the bus, and I watched the sun rise over our house and street for the last time. We bundled them off to school, while Craig (who must come with us, nothing else will do) waved and said “Bye Lellow Bus! Bye Lellow Bus! Bye Jack! Bye Weeeeem! Bye Lellow Bus!” a billion times, and I haven’t seen them since. Which is kind of lonelier than I thought. Normally kid-free time is awesome time, but right now I kind of want ’em close to me.
After Big Brothers went off to their last day of school, we parked Craig in the minivan, turned on the heat and a movie, and got to the work of emptying out the final few bits and bobs – always the WORST. There’s always more tiny bits of crap than you have space for, and we crammed pillows and duvets and laundry baskets and random shoes and all kinds of things in all kinds of places, just desperate to get it loaded up and move on. I said one last tearful good-bye to the home we built and hoped to retire in, and then locked up the portable storage units and headed off to drop Craig at daycare for his last day. Then we went to the closing – somewhat tense, but no real issues – and then went to breakfast, and then I said good-bye to the Professor, since I have to stay a few days. He took one car full of stuff and went to pick up the three boys and head north for Christmas with the grandparents, and I took the other car full of stuff to our neighbor’s place to pick up our dog, who visited Ms. Judy and Mr. Stan while we went through closing. The buyers’ moving truck was already there, and a severe looking woman in a turtleneck and puffy black vest was huffing around directing movers (I probably projected severity onto her – for all I know she is very nice – because it is somewhat soothing to dislike the woman who is now sleeping in MY house). I’d hoped never to see the house again, frankly – losing it represents all my disappointment in the failure of this experiment – and when I knocked on the door to get the dog, poor unsuspecting Mr. Stan greeted a weeping, snotty mess. He soothed me as best he could (Ms. Judy was out), and then I tucked Virgil into the sole tiny open space left in my jam-packed car, and sped away with averted eyes.
I dropped the dog at the friend’s house where I am now staying, then went to work. I worked the afternoon, and people trickled by to say good-bye – as I’m going to a competitor firm, there was no good-bye speech or gathering of any kind. A couple of folks took me out for a drink afterwards, and we talked about the crisis of associates leaving the firm in droves (we have had a major problem with that lately – not my problem anymore!) Then I drove to the friend’s house, walked the dog, ate a cheese pizza, and went to bed. I cried a little bit when I started to drive home as usual, brain on autopilot, and then remembered I no longer have a home. My route went the opposite way. It’s somewhat disorienting to still be here but live on the complete opposite side of town.
This morning I woke at 4:30 as usual – at loose ends. Everything in their cute older house creaks – the floor, the doors, the wobbly toilet. I tried to tiptoe out into the main room without making noise, and hit every creaky floorboard, then wrestled with a door stuck in the frame – making the most possible noise right outside their bedroom door, imploring the floorboards to please SHHHHHHH! It’s so odd to wake at 4:30 on a Saturday and not be staring down hours of household work. I didn’t have to throw in a load of laundry, start the coffee pot, make a meal plan and grocery list yadda yadda. I sat and read a book and cried a little bit and texted my boys, so far away, and then went on a run, took the dog on a long walk, read some more, and STILL THESE YOUNGSTERS ARE ASLEEP. I was up for 5 hours before they stirred – that’s a long time to tiptoe – and then they taught me how to use their Keurig and at last I got some caffeine. We all headed to work – all 3 of us at work on a Saturday! Lazy Millennials, right?!?
Now here I am, granting myself a few therapeutic minutes to blog before buckling down. Just a couple more days, and then I get back to the familiarity of the Professor’s childhood home. I will relax into Christmas, and then we will focus on looking forward to a New Orleans beginning. We already have New Years’ Eve plans with friends. I’m just about over the hump, and about to settle back into a new groove.