10 February 2009

Saying Goodbye

We're moving this weekend. This coming Monday, President's Day, while Maddie and Riley are at daycare and I am off of work, I will spend the day lugging essential stuff from my house to my friend's* house, and then, when I pick the kids up, we'll go to our new home.

Yesterday, on the way home from school, I told Maddie and Riley what was happening. The back of the car was filled with moving boxes, and the two of them wanted to know what the boxes were for.

"What those boxes for? We gonna put our toys in there?" they queried.
"Actually, funny you should ask. We are going to put your toys in there, and your clothes, and Mama's stuff, and we're going to take it all to S and N's house and we're going to stay there for a while," I explained. "We'll take you cribs, too. And you'll get to sleep in the same room as N."
"We can sleep in the same room? Duckie and Froggie are gonna come? The cats are gonna be there?" The questions came fast and furious from both Maddie and Riley.
"I LOVE cats and dogs!" added Riley, for good measure.
"We'll share our toys," pointed out Maddie.

Overall, both Maddie and Riley seemed excited by the idea, but the toddler mind is nothing if not mysterious. For starters, their concept of time is rather loose. Maddie and Riley seem to understand past, present, and future, but five minutes ago and five days ago are the same to them: past. Anything in the future is tomorrow, or after nap. So when I tried to explain when we'd be moving, they didn't quite get it. For now, it suffices that it's not today. The other thing about toddlers, at least Maddie and Riley, is that they often claim excitement about something in the theoretical, but are then much less enthusiastic in reality.

It's going to be an adjustment, no matter how you slice it. I hope that Maddie and Riley's initial enthusiasm remains. We'll see next Monday.

***********************************
As for my mind, I've been all over the place. I feel good about the decision to move and to put our condo on the market. Yes, I'll lose money, but I'll also be in a position to start saving again rather than slowly bleeding out, and in a position where the loss of my job would not be financially catastrophic to my family.

Equally important, I'll be freed of a huge emotional weight. It's not possible for me to express how stuck my house makes me feel. The burdens and sorrow of the last few months of John's life are everywhere. I go to bed every night in the room—in the bed! on the sheets!—where he died. I feel like a slave to the life we had, and even more so to the life we didn't have. I feel like I can't move forward from a physical position of so much pain. 

Of course, I'll still sleep in the same bed in our new place, and my mind will still hold on to the painful memories of John's illness. But I hope and believe that being physically elsewhere, changing our scene, giving us a new experience, will allow me to be more open to ways to move on. That emotional freedom along with the financial freedom of being out from under the house are important steps in moving on, steps towards building a life that honors the time Maddie, Riley, John, and I had together while creating something new and more grounded in joy.

Anyone in the market for an awesome condo in greater Boston?

*I need a name for this friend, as she and her daughter will likely be coming up a lot more in the blog. You know who you are: what should I call you two? Real names? Something else?

62 comments:

Kate said...

I wish you the best of luck and lots of love as you make this big change!

Colleen said...

Good luck to you guys on your big move!

S (of S and N) said...

"S" and "N" are fine if you can't come up with something more exotic sounding (e.g "ms. coffee"). Or perhaps you should pick something I won't recognize so I'll be clueless when you start complaining about me on the blog.

Tawny said...

I hope your move goes really well :)

Ginevra said...

This is so, so exciting. I'm sure there will be a lot of sadness mixed in as you leave the home you and John built (maybe more sadness than you anticipate right now, but that's OK). But I totally agree that this is a great step toward moving on and building the next part of your life. And I think it will be awesome to have someone to complain to in the evenings over a glass of wine. ;-) I think that helps take some of the sting out of life with toddlers.

Good luck packing, and let me know if you want to try again to get together this weekend. ASH is still a little up in the air--we thought he was OK but then he threw up last night. So I'll keep you posted.

Much love and a big hug,
J

silene said...

Best of luck to you and Riley and Maddie as you start the next chapter!

tree town gal said...

Good for you, Snick. You're being kind to your financial and emotional baggage. I hope the move goes well, with minimal bumps and bruises along the way. Here's to new beginnings!

Single Parent Dad said...

If your experience is anything like me, I think you are absolutely on the right track.

I didn't actually go back to our marital home, we were on holiday when Samantha died, which in many ways, I was grateful for.

Now, 3&1/2 years later, we have out own new home, which we designed and built from scratch, but I still sleep in the bed that Max was conceived in (I have changed the sheets BTW).

I hope you experience the same relief and freedom that we have.

And as for kids having an appreciation of time, when I tell Max we are doing it tomorrow, he says

"You mean the day after this day?"

Bingo

Keen said...

Yay! I'll be thinking of you and hoping that everything goes smoothly this weekend. Lots of love to you, Maddoe and Riley.

K

Karyn said...

Good luck to you this weekend! I'll be thinking of you as you make such a big move emotionally as well as physically--perhaps you should take Tuesday off, too?! Congratulations.

Yummy Mummy said...

I think this will be really positive for you. If only because it gets you out of that house that seems to be really emotionally setting you back. Along with the move maybe some new bedding! I can't even imagine how hard that would be for you. Good luck, I will be sending many good wishes your way.

Giovanna Diaries said...

Yay on the move!
Hope it goes smoothly!

Anonymous said...

How about "Sidekick" and "Nipper"?

Mar said...

Oh good luck. I imagine it will tough all around at time but it really sounds like a good thing.

Btw, I just LOVE posts that include M&R conversations and bon mots -- you have such clever entertaining beauties there.

Sylvie said...

Wow, what a big decision. It seems like the right thing for you. You make decisions like this in such an admirable way: think through, process, act. I am impressed. I have never been that keen on owning, I prefer the freedom of renting.. and that is without all the emotional parts. Good luck!

Megan said...

Congrats on making a decision and following it through.

I vote for you thinking of nicknames for S and N. Just letters are tough to remember who is who when you don't know people IRL. Roomie (for S) and Noodle for N? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Yay you. Sounds like a great decision. Good luck with the move and good luck to getting the kids adjusted to a new place!

Watercolor said...

Congratulations. Deciding to change is hard and actually making the change is even harder. One day at a time. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

I would call her Ms. Roommate.

amber said...

much love and good moving vibes for you guys. sounds like you're good with this decision, which is the most important thing.

Susan said...

Here's hoping moving goes smoothly and condo sells quickly. It sounds like the right thing to do and reading Single Parent Dad response, it really sounds like the right move. Maddie/Riley crack me up. I miss the toddler days.

Anonymous said...

What town did you live in snick? i want to move closer to the city. :)

shmo said...

Maybe Maddie and Riley can help you pick out new bed linens for the new abode.

Sending many good thoughts your way as you test the waters of change.

SupersammyG said...

Yeah sounds great. Let me know if you need help. I can't carry much but I can pack boxes and the wife is strong. Let us know

Lala said...

best of luck with the move Snick

Snickollet said...

Anon:

I'm in Arlington, headed for Watertown.

-snick

mlg said...

Holy Parallel bicoastal universe batman! I can't tell you how much I relate to this statement: "but I'll also be in a position to start saving again rather than slowly bleeding out, and in a position where the loss of my job would not be financially catastrophic to my family."

Here I sit, bleeding out, pondering the mortgage and my jobless self. sigh. I am meeting with my financial planner next week and plan on discussing selling as a viable option for my current situation. I wish I had an S and N. A villiage like that sounds awfully nice right about now. YOu are very lucky.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Good luck with the move, Snick. It sounds like a positive move forward.

tousquireste said...

I think building something 'grounded in joy' is an amazingly wonderful aim. I hope the move itself goes well, and that it helps in the ways you need it to!

Anonymous said...

you are a strong mama and it sounds like a great plan. good luck with the moving!

Anonymous said...

I like calling her CV, and N works just fine...

;)

sounds exciting!

michelle

Tam said...

Congratulations on your decision, the move & the choice to move onward. It's tough & your post was moving ~ I know how it is to lay on the bed, the sheets & the memories.

Best wishes to you & the babes (big kids!)

Take care ~ Tam

Kathryn said...

Bravo Snick...it's good to have made the decision. Now lots of prayers that the move is stress free, that the house sells quickly and that all works well for you. You're due some smooth running for a while...

Amelie said...

Good luck for the move. I'm glad you made your decision.

Jessica said...

The move sounds like a positive step, I too admire your thinking it through and planning process. I think you should treat yourself to some pretty new bed lines. :)

Kris said...

This move sounds like the right next step for you and the kiddos - best of luck!!

L. said...

Congratulations, snick! And good luck moving.

I am from Newton and would like to return to the area--but it's not in the cards for the moment (job and economy stuff). Too bad, otherwise I'd give your condo serious thought!

What A Card said...

Good luck to you! I'm very excited for your move...I think it will be great for all of you!

Best wishes on a QUICK sale for more than you expect :)

Alison C said...

Lots of luck with the move!

Anonymous said...

Kids adjust to change a lot better than we give them credit for. How positive we make it seem has a lot to do with it. Sounds like it will be an easy transition for them with you as a Mom. :o)

Good luck and take some time to just sit in the middle of the boxes and have a pbj.

OneTiredEma said...

Best of luck and here's to getting unstuck!

Roads said...

New place, new life. That sounds like a good recipe to me.

Good luck with the move!

liz said...

All my best wishes on your move. Sounds like it's a positive step.

Annie said...

Thinking of you and hope the move goes smooth and is positive, and your fairy god-mother sends you someone to buy the condo soon !
Annie

Green said...

I wish I were in a position to send you some new bedding. Bed Bath & Beyond often has great sales, plus those 20% off coupons. Maybe someone can make those sheets part of a John blanket for you, with some of his shirts or something. So you can have him when you want him, but put the sheets away when you need to.

Lots of good luck to you in this move. I've read your blog for almost a year now and love it.

txmomx6 said...

Good for you.
We all need to do what we need to do.
My husband died 14 months ago. I have since been busy trying to make my home look "different". The kids want "sameness", but I need "different".
Hard to explain to people who don't "get it".
I get it.
And I wish the best for you.
Janine

Caustic Cupcake said...

So exciting! Can't wait for you to start posting on your new life.

Anonymous said...

When my son was younger he had the same problems with understanding the concept of time. We used to count "sleeps." Meaning how many nights of sleep he had until something was going to happen. Then we would cross the days off on a calendar. Good luck on your move!

Angie

moo said...

Great luck to you!

FWIW, I think you are doing the Right Thing.

~ Jolene said...

I wish you nothing but the best in this change in your life. I think it will be good for you. Although it will be bittersweet, this new home will be the place where new happy memories will be built. Hope it goes smoothly!

susan said...

Good luck with the move! Sounds like you're happy--and from S's comment above, sounds like you've got a great housemate, too!

OTRgirl said...

It's funny how fast this seems! Even though you've been writing about it. I hear you on wanting to purge the weight and heaviness. To hold onto the good and move away from so much sadness.

I'm excited for you to be doing something so active and brave. Be gentle with yourself in the process (as much as is possible). I really respect your creative housing/co-parenting solution.

Looking forward to hearing stories! I like Roomie's suggestion that you give her a name she won't recognize so you can talk about her!

Ali said...

Good for you! I think all around it is a great move for you. It is a strong move. Hope Maddie and Reily adjust ok. It will take them some time.

buddha_girl said...

I'm thinking of you. Here's to a new adventure with your kidlets and S&N.

Justine said...

Luck to you on the big move. Great things to come in the future.

Lindsay said...

Long time reader first time poster.... I admire your strength for functioning each and everyday.... I lost my 6 year old daughter to the terrible C 3 weeks ago and can barely make it through a day and you do it with 2 little ones. My continued prayers are with you maddie and riley.... Take care
Lindsay
www.rememberingavi.blogspot.com

Lee Hannauer Gross said...

My favorite saying these says is, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Good luck to you, Maddie & Riley!

p.s. How about SuperFriend and SuperDaughter?

Amanda said...

Congrats. I hope your move goes smoothly. I am a little behind just read this today. Moving day.
I hope it lifts a little weight off your shoulders

silene said...

Thinking of you guys today and hoping everything is going smoothly with your move.

tree town gal said...

snick - it's monday night and i can't help but think of you and the twins. i wonder how you survived the weekend, the day, the move, the memories. your last few posts continue to slosh around in my head; life is more fragile than most realize. thank you for poetically sharing your slice of reality with us. i hope the twins look at this move as an adventure and for you, a beginning. my best wishes are with you.

Lyndsay said...

Hope the move went okay yesterday!

Shinyung said...

I think it's wonderful that you are in an emotional place where you can move on. I can imagine how heavy everything must feel to be surrounded everyday by the past and to live with it and to be reminded again and again. You do a beautiful job of remembering your husband, but I think you are also striking a wonderful balance of coping and living and being a wonderful mom. I say good for you!