22 August 2009

Ebb, Flow

Conventional wisdom says that one should refrain from making any major life changes for a year after the death of a spouse. No moving, no new jobs, no getting remarried. I followed this advice, more or less. I did change jobs, but I'd been actively seeking a new position before John died, so it felt like the completion of a task already begun, not an attempt to run from the circumstances of my widowhood. In any case, as the newly-single mother of two very young children, making radical changes was significantly more difficult than just slogging through the known, so for the most part, I stayed the course.

It was about 18 months after John's death that I dated Mr. Coffee, and it was 20 months in that I put my condo on the market and moved in with CV. I'm glad I waited to date, and I'm glad I waited to move. I had fun dating, although I haven't dated since and really haven't wanted to. The time I spent with Mr. Coffee marked the start of a lot of changes in my life, and for whatever reason served to push me into a realization that I was angry, unhappy, and not nearly as far along in the grief process as I had thought. All of those realizations were very much to the good, and pushed me towards the decision to put the condo on the market, a decision that has always felt totally right to me, but that would not have felt right a moment sooner than it was made.

The move cross-country and the current job fell in my lap, in a way, but also not a moment too soon and not a moment too late, at least as far as my mental state is concerned, and, frankly, as far as the twins are concerned developmentally. They handled the move with grace and aplomb, and we've had this summer to get settled and gear up for their first fall as back-to-schoolers (although I guess that makes them simply "to-schoolers"). Preschool begins the day after Labor Day, three full days a week of Spanish immersion in a Montessori-influenced setting. I'm excited, they seem excited. We're also making forays into the world of classes; Maddie and Riley will both take short sessons (six weeks) of soccer and ballet starting in October. The classes are 30 minutes each, and seem like a good chance to have fun in a low-pressure, community center setting. In principle, I'm adamently against kids being overscheduled and adamently for kids having a lot of free time to explore their own interests, but by the same token, both Maddie and Riley have expressed interest in trying out some new things, so I figure we'll get our feet wet.

Maddie and Riley use words like "ponder" and "tuck" now. Maddie will definatly declare that she's not talking to me right now when I do something to wrong her. Riley is potty trained, a basically painless process that ended up taking about three weeks and tapping of my maternal reserves. We read a crazy number of books and both kids are often found on the couch, paging through their favorite tome from the weekly trip to the library with the nanny.

I feel like all I've said since I've gotten back to Portland is that this is where we're supposed to be, and this post is just more of the same. After two-and-a-half years of feeling bitter and cheated and angry and sad and stalled out, life feels like it's on fast-forward now. I don't feel like I've changed or that I'm changing so much, exactly, but like I've settled into the right spot. Maddie and Riley seem to be taking off, and I am more able to enjoy watching them and helping them along. I still get stressed out and irritated, but most of the time I'm happy. It's a nice. Makes for dull blogging, but it's nice.

27 comments:

Rose Connors said...

I'm happy things can be a little dull. You deserve it.

Cat said...

It sounds like you're in a great place at the right time. I hope things stay dull and happy!

Goddess in Progress said...

So glad to hear things are swimming along so well after your move. Even further confirmation that it was exactly the right thing to do. Hooray!

Crash Course Cardiologist said...

It may be dull blogging, but it's sure nice to hear! I'm so glad, and so happy for you all... Hugs...

Bethany said...

Nice is the best, long-term place to be! Nice is very underrated. So happy for you and the kids!

cindy w said...

Dull is good. Dull is stable. Much better than chaos. So glad things are working out for you guys.

Ellen said...

Dull is very, very good. So glad to read.

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

Its like you were in the wind of a hurricane for so long, all that debris and insanity swirling around and now the storm has past and the dust has settled and you can finally be still for a bit and just enjoy seeing your world again. Your kids are using such awesome words !

Anonymous said...

I don't think it fell into your lap, I think you had intention and helped in whatever way you believe to bring it into your lap. I have been following you for a long time and wish ony the best for you and yours. I had twins and didn't lose my spouse and that was hard enough.

beyond said...

i like your "dull" blogging.
you sound really well. yay!

Elizabeth said...

It's not dull blogging at all - your readers are thrilled to hear about your successful move and your kids' exploits!

Fairlington Blade said...

Hardly dull--it's good to hear about the things that are going right. Bill Bryson and Dave Barry have made careers out of the dull things!

I did catch the three weeks to potty training. I can hear the Arrgh!!! all the way from Costa Rica. Keen, Primo, and Secondo are halfway through a month down there and potty training has been frustrating, to say the least.

BB

carosgram said...

Sounds like life is finally settling down and moving on. I am happy for you. Thinking of you and wishing you the best

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I'm so happy that you are settling in well. I think everything sounds great!

I'm sure Maddie and Riley are going to have a great time at school. (We're all excited on this coast about Vivi's foray into a life without Mama! Woohoo!!)

Natika said...

I'm glad you are back where you belong!
Fresh starts always seems to do the soul good.
Besides that aren't you just loving the weather here?

OTRgirl said...

Jrex is always telling me that boring is good; I think I'm starting to believe him. ;-)

It's so true though that when life feels good, it's hard to know what to write about! Don't worry though, it's not boring to read about the three of you settling into Portland life.

Anonymous said...

Yay to boring blogging. Contentment might just be boring to read about, but I've also wondered if people stop blogging because talking about joys seem like bragging. And, if that's any part of the decision, I have to say that hearing that all of your little family is healthy and happy and joyful is an absolutely wonderful thing to read about.

uberimma said...

I'll take the dull blogging any day!

I thought of you today. (You will like this. I think.) I went to the post office with my three five-and-unders in tow. By foot. And stroller. It's a mile each way, and it's hot. I mostly went to pick up a registered parcel, but I also needed stamps.

Can you guess where this is heading?

They were OUT OF STAMPS.

I just had to share.

:)

So Not Wishy Washy said...

Dull? Hardly. I would call you on the verge of tons of happiness. Peaceful, perhaps.

I enrolled Butter in soccer and then football last year with the local parks and rec department. One hour a week of instructional athletics with REQUIRED parent participation. He loved it as did the Pack Mule and I.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

I say HOORAH for dull blogging about good lives.
Although, you couldn't be dull if you started eating bricks. Constipated, maybe, but never dull.

X

Supa

Rev Dr Mom said...

Happy for you. And not at all bored to read about it.

Julia said...

Not boring at all. I like hearing about your children and I am so happy that you are in such a good place now. I don't often comment but I am always reading and cheering you onward.

(I tried to email you but the gmail bounced. Would you be willing to email me darwin at hughes dot net? I have something I want to ask you. Please?)

traci in virginia said...

I am glad to hear things are going well. As a widow 9 months in, it is good to get some perspective on the future because it is rather hard to think about.
Your changes all seem very positive. I am so happy for you.

beattie said...

SOSChildCare.com - Free Online Babysitter, Nanny & Aupair Finder

SOSChildCare.com is a FREE online finding service for Nannies, Babysitters and Aupairs. SOSChildCare.com is FREE to Signup as a Child Carer or Parent and FREE to Search Profiles.

SOSChildCare.com recognises that both parents and child care providers have varied life circumstances and needs, and makes provisions for all types of care including Shared Care, Respite Care and Emergency/Short Notice to manage those unexpected life circumstances. When children fall sick many parents have difficulty managing a proper work/life balance. SOSChildCare.com responds to this modern-day dilemna by enabling child carers to opt in to short notice and emergency care.

The Feedback system enables parents to post reviews on child carers they have hired and carers can rate parents they have worked for. Other features include Private Mailbox, Credentials Upload Centre, Send an Instant Introduction and more.

All types of care are listed at SOSChildCare.com including Before & After Schoool, School Holidays cover, Shared Care Babysitters, Nannies or Aupairs, In-home Child Care, Live-in and Live-out Nannies, Emergency/Short Notice and care for children with Special Needs or Challenging Behaviours.

Enter promotional MBSN when you signup, to receive a complimentary upgrade to 30 days Premium Membership (allow up to 24 hours for upgrade).

JudithNYC said...

Bring on the dull blogging!

JK said...

feeling like you are where you should be is wonderful--even if the blogging is kind of dull (I know from personal experiences). Happy for you.

Roads said...

It's good to get to where you want to be. Then, when you're settled, you can really start to shift things forwards.

Good on yer, girl.