Moving is a vortex.
I'm going to have to add that to the growing list of things about which I am terribly naive.
I had no idea of the stress, the cost, the two steps forward one step back to-do list that never seems to end. And the cost. did I mention the cost? Before, when I moved, it was the typical have some friends over, move some stuff, eat a pizza, drink some beer scenario. This move, after 10 years on basically the same block with deep pocket closets and two adult's worth of stuff and a small child running around was a production - one of those big splashy productions, with sets and lights and dancers.
But we are in. We are in.
The boxes are mostly unpacked, but for those few the contents of which baffle me. Where did I put this stuff before? Why isn't there a place for it now? Where is the lid to my small saucepan? Where oh where did all this CLOTHING come from?
We've discovered that apartment living makes you soft. You forget the very basic parts of having a real home. Garbage days. Mailboxes. Stairs that are, like, INSIDE THE HOUSE you guys. At one point the first week the hot water just didn't work and I was as helpless as a newborn. I just stood in the middle of the kitchen and shrugged at no one.
It feels big. Not just physically, but mentally too. I thought maybe it would make me feel more grown up, but the reverse is true. I feel like an impostor. I feel as though I am literally playing at house, but without a safety net, and the grown-ups are mere moments away from smashing in the door and taking away my key.
We are slowly (sloooowly) learning the neighborhood. Now that the self-induced purgatory of We Are Moving So Let's Eat Crap Forever has passed, we are cooking, every day, with GAS. Gas ovens get hot you guys. Keep your oven mitts close by at all times. (Also: don't sleep in the subway, don't stand in the pouring rain.)
Of all of us, Nico has adjusted the best I think. Rob and I still feel a bit unhinged, a bit adrift, as if our clothes were a tiny bit too loose. (Which is markedly not true, see: We Are Moving So Let's Eat Crap Forever.) Nico sees the house from blocks away and says "House! My house!" When he asks to go home after daycare pick-up, I know that he knows precisely where we are going. And there is this ever present sense of pride, that we gave him that. Someplace to come home to for as long as he wants and we are able to fit. Someplace with his height in stages on a wall.
This is an embarrassing (but fun!) fact about me. I have been afraid of the dark, really and truly scared shitless, for as long as I can remember. I used to spook myself so badly in the old apartment that I would do that thing where you sort of move from a walk into a skitter and hop into bed. I am 32. And a mother. And though I am naturally a fraidy cat, even I realize that irrational terror of darkness is a bit...much.
Now suddenly I'm not afraid anymore. I don't know what happened, though what has changed is obvious. There are no ghosts here. We are not transient - or won't be if we don't want to be. We are in control, to the extent it is possible, of every last light switch. The lights belong to us. But so does the darkness.
It is my darkness now. It is ours.
And I am not afraid.*
*Still really scared of penguins though. Let's just be serious for a second and admit they are extremely freaky, I don't care WHAT Morgan Freeman told you. REMAIN DILIGENT.
3 hours ago