Thursday, February 27, 2014

Everything is Better Since the Move

We are a month into the new home. This move, the one we were calling "The Big Move Back to Our Old Town" has impacted our lives in countless ways. The near constant stomach pain I was experiencing back in Columbus has vanished just as mysteriously as it appeared. Because it started before my husband was offered a job in a new town I assumed it was not related to the whole single mom husband working out of town packing up an entire house while caring for two young boys one of which is more than a handful lifestyle I had going on. Seriously, thanks to webmd and my overactive imagination there were times I thought I was surely dying. But now, post move, no more pain. I still think it was stress related, but I also am starting to think that maybe I was under more stress in Columbus than I thought.

For the past two and a half years I feel as though I have done nothing but read books, try one behavioral technique after another, driven to parent-child interaction therapy, psychologist appointments and occupational therapy. I have held my tongue and lashed out. I have stood strong and cried like a baby. I have argued with my husband and whispered with him late into the night, trying to figure out the key that will unlock the puzzle that is our youngest son. I have cleaned up messes made by thrown food, thrown toys, thrown bath water. I have dodged shoes thrown at me while driving 70 miles an hour down the highway. I have abandoned grocery carts of food and walked out dragging a screaming preschooler behind me. I have waited in the day care parking lot, watching the clock tick down until the very last minute to run in and pick up my son. Don't get me wrong. There have been great moments. Milestones reached. Sweet tender moments of quiet and peace. Books read. Songs sung. Kisses shared. Moments I will forever treasure.

But then we moved. Our truck arrived at our new home on a Friday afternoon. Not two hours later both of my boys had been whisked away to their grandparents home and my husband, who I had spent very little time with over the past two months, what with him working two and a half hours away and all, were sitting together, alone together, in a restaurant. That night my sister in law left breakfast for us on our front step. That first weekend my mother in law brought us dinner every night. My father in law hooked up my washer and dryer. A few weeks later we had dinner at my in laws home. Not for a party or large family gathering. Just my little family. Just sloppy joes and ice cream. No following the persevering preschooler around for fear he was going to hit a cousin or break a priceless souvenir from my in laws world travels. Just dinner.

Another week or so passed and we found ourselves hosting the family at our new home to celebrate the super six year old's 7th birthday. Surrounded by boxes and sitting on kitchen chairs due to our lack of furniture, we listened as all the boys in the family, (and two sweet little cousins under the age of 3), ran around the basement playroom like maniacs. We had homemade cupcakes and pizza and we talked. We talked. This was the first kid birthday party we didn't have to ask family to travel to. We didn't have to travel ourselves and borrow the in laws' home. We didn't have to shell out a ton of money to rent a big birthday party space. Just toys, a playroom and homemade cupcakes.

My best friend came to visit. For no reason. Not because she happened to be in town, two and half hours away from her home. But because I now live close to her. I stand at the bus stop and see my boys off every morning. Because I work from home I am here when my whiz kid, (the newly minted 7 year old's blog name- cool eh?), gets off the bus. Friends, family, a home with more space, being able to have the best of both worlds- stay at home mother and working mom.

I miss my Columbus friends. I miss the whiz kid's small private christian school. I miss China school and those other China mommies that have become so important to me. Change is hard. I have seen the tears in my oldest son's eyes when he talks about his old school and friends. I have felt the confusion of being the new parent at the new school, the one who doesn't have a clue what is going on. Change is hard, yes.

But change can also be invigorating and oh so needed. We have seen a dramatic change in the persevering preschooler. He is doing amazing in his new preschool. Not one single behavior or sensory issue. We see the hyper activity at home still, sure, but that we can live with. We still have our bedtime issues, yes. Dinner time is a near daily drag. But we have seen big changes in this little guy. Does he finally get it? Is his traumatized mind finally on board with this whole family thing? Does he finally understand that he is a part of us? We moved, and we brought him with us. He is stuck with us.

Maybe the other shoe will drop. We still have big trauma momma hurdles ahead of us. Do we start him in kindergarten next Fall or hold him back? Will he be able to survive in a typical classroom setting? When will dinner time calm down? Why do I care so much about creating a peaceful home? It is still exhausting, having to keep him so regimented and on task every minute of the day. It is both a physical and brain drain. But it is better since the move. Everything is better since the move!

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