Sunday, January 20, 2013

Impromptu Hiatus

I did not mean to disappear from this blog, but life sometimes has a way of, well, getting in the way.  About a week before Christmas we bought a house.  Yes, a house. When telling people we said it in such a nonchalant way, kind of like, we bought a toaster.  Then the next question would come, "Were you looking?" The answer is simple: we are always looking.

For the past three years we have talked of moving to a variety of different places.  Some close, some really far.  On this day, making jam with my mom, I whispered to her, "Brandon wants to move to (insert name of small island town here)". My mom's reply, "Do it!".  We looked that summer but just couldn't make the commitment to be so far from friends, family, and work.  But we loved the smaller town, close-knit community, and wood-like setting.  Then of course whenever we went out of town, specifically to a certain small mountain town, Brandon was determined to move there. We have looked for houses on-line, we have done numerous open houses, and talked non-stop about moving.  Especially on road trips. Major decisions are made when we are trapped in a car for 12+ hours.

But through it all, the conversation would always come back to the kids. Specifically our oldest. What would school look like for him? How would he find a niche in the community? Would the school be a good fit for him?  When you have one choice for school, it can be worrisome. Then our life changed again when we, unexpectedly changed schools this summer. Going from public school to private, was a huge decision and one I never thought we would do. Especially this early in their school career.  But there I was, crying in the Principal's office, describing my sons, and finally feeling like I had a place where they could both go that would meet their needs.  And it has been good. Doesn't mean that I haven't cried more, or that Jack's teacher now says, "you promised you wouldn't cry"; but it is a good place.

With the move to a new school, my world turned upside down. Now I drive the boys to school, twice a day, I feel that Finn spends an hour each morning just in the car. It's not bad, it is actually not nearly as far as many people go, but it was wearing. So was trying to make new friends and set up playdates, only to find their friend lives a good 30 minutes away.  What I missed most from our school last year, was the ease of playdates, meeting at the park, chatting after school, etc.  So, we kept our eyes on the housing market near the boys' school. And one day there it was. A house we could see ourselves in. Not the perfect house, I am not in love with the brass accents in the bathroom, but overall it is good. And it is not a project house. Aside from paint, there is no work to be done. Not like our current house. Remember this? Yeah, we moved in with no kitchen sink, the only bathroom upstairs, and lots left on our todo list.  Plus, this house is on a 1/3 of an acre.  Brandon gets the feeling of living on 5 acres, without me living in the woods. Because, to be honest, the woods scare me.

Long story short. We bought a house. We finally finished our current house and listed it this week. Brandon and I have done nothing but paint, clean, finish our current house, since Christmas ended. It has been a whirlwind, with some good moments and some low moments.  I am both happy and sad for this new chapter in our life.  What fills me with joy is seeing how happy all 4 of my boys are whenever we stop by the new house.

Those boys are the love of my life, if they are happy, then I am happy.  And there is a really good coffee shop in town. That helps, obviously.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Being Kind to Strangers

Today I realized there might be a flaw in my plan to teach my boys to help strangers.  Most of our helping has been confined to taking toys to the goodwill and handing out hand warmers to the homeless.

Today Finn and I went to get some boxes. After leaving the helpful, but slightly creepy guy at the storage facility, Finn said: "When we get home can we have that guy come over?"

"What guy?" I asked.

"The guy who gave us boxes."

"You want to invite the strange man from the storage center to our house for a playdate?"

"Yes", said in a slightly condescending way that only 3 year-olds can do.

I tried to explain that we don't really invite strangers to our house but Finn was insistent that he was a nice guy and would be fun to have over.

Obviously, I did not go back and extend an invitation for a playdate. But I think I have some work to do on stranger-danger.