An emotional roller coaster is what it is.
I’ve moved many times throughout my life for many reasons, but this move was by far the most difficult. The whole process is so chaotic and yet so slow moving at the same time.
Thursday night, after the packers were long gone, I sat amongst the boxes that contained our belongings. I know they are simply material things, but they are still parts of our lives that we accumulate, work for, and many have sentimental value. It’s a surreal thing to watch strangers pack little bits of you into cardboard boxes. Sure, they use plenty of paper to wrap each item snugly. They nestle it into a space perfectly filling the missing spot that would fill the box, much like the last piece to a puzzle; however, I doubt they take the time to wonder about any of it. If they do wonder, they certainly don’t take the time to ask. Perhaps it’s because they don’t care and they’re just trying to do their job, or perhaps they’ve done it before and know it leads to a long trail of stories. For if I were to tell them about the small ceramic puppy that has been muddied with a mixture of paint colors – Drew’s first time painting a figure on his own, it would surely lead to how he wrote his first letter D on our kitchen floor, followed by the fact that he is a lefty, but bats right handed.
I would no doubt have to explain the sign that sits on the shelf in the twinlets’ room, the one that says Believe in miracles, explain why that sign is so important to me and that they should wrap it extra tight. When they packed up the screws to the crib or to Drew’s bed, I’d inevitably have to tell them about the day we transitioned him to the big boy bed – the one that I pushed Charley to put together, and then cried when I realized what it meant. I’d have to tell them about Drew using his plastic screwdriver to help daddy put his big boy bed together and how the site of my two guys was more than I could handle, the tears flowed.
I’d have to tell them to leave the air mattress and that when we moved to this home we slept on it for two weeks in our living room. It was cooler down there and the paint fumes upstairs were much too strong. It took several coats to cover the blue sponge painting left by the previous owner and the cowboy theme left in our soon to be newborn’s room. I’d have to of course mention the Howdy written out in rope that hung on our soon to be baby’s room wall. This would then lead to the stripes I wanted so badly to paint the bottom half of the wall all around the room, but after having two walls completed I felt like I was in a circus tent. Charley walked in to see it and I instantly started humming the circus theme music, then began repainting the wall.
Obviously, this is no way to get a home packed in a timely manner, no matter how precious the story. Honestly, I feel that if I were to share each one, they’d fall on deaf ears and the important points would linger in the air so tangible to me, yet unnoticed to them. It’s not their lives they are stuffing into boxes, it’s just another family, another job, another pay check, and I’m OK with that, though it doesn’t make it any easier to witness.
Throughout this whole process I fluctuated between being ready to go, feeling antsy, in limbo, stuck, and not wanting to ever leave. One minute I’m frustrated that the process is taking so long, and the next I’m wandering through my home after midnight, among the boxes, crying and taking pictures of the most mundane thing – to the eye of an outsider, anyway. One minute I’m trying to pack as fast as I can so that we can just get in the car and go, and the next I’m vacuuming an empty room and stop just short of sucking up Peter Pan’s dagger – only 1/2 an inch long, I still can’t believe that thing keeps appearing.
With each emotion that fought its way to the surface, once there, I rode it out. I slowly walked through the empty rooms of our home, took it all in, cried it out, and savored the last memories I would have there. I tucked them away tight hoping my memory would not fail me. I considered trying to be strong for Drew, trying not to cry, but decided it was healthy for him to see me this way, and for him to feel it, too. Besides all that, there was no way of holding in the tears. We cried together, all of us and then climbed in our overstuffed car. I slowly turned it around and rolled down our windows. We waved goodbye to this chapter, and the only book Drew has ever known. We rode out the tears as our emotional roller coaster headed up to the peak. I stepped on the gas, and away we went soaring towards our newest adventure.
No matter what the future holds, that rollercoaster will have its highs and lows. We will embrace them all and ride it out.