Saturday, August 14, 2010

it's good to be back

This past May, my mother underwent her second knee replacement. Her first knee replacement was last year. And even more than last year, the recovery this time around has been grueling.


After much discussion, Charlie and I decided that although we'd appreciate having the kids with my mother during the time that we drive back to Virginia and get our new home squared away, leaving my (still) recovering mother with our five-year-olds would be too much. Ultimately, at this point in her recovery, getting three brand new kindergartners up and out the door for school at 7:45 each morning is way too advanced.

Although sending the kids to school was originally my mother's idea, she agrees five-year-old triplets are a handful. And since my mother is very much the kind of person who will do whatever she can to help, the fact that she has questioned if she could manage all three children by herself, tells me that it would be too much. So the kids are coming with us and we'll do whatever we can to make it as fun as possible.

(While, hopefully, keeping our sanity intact.)

For the past 10 days, we've been in Greenville, South Carolina and it has been wonderful. Last week we were dazed and confused. This week, we've got a solid game plan and we feel totally rejuvenated. And next week, we'll be back. When Charlie flies away to California to supervise the packing of our home, I'll once again descend upon my 77-year-old mother and 86-year-old step father in their two bedroom condominium, with all four of our children. And our new puppy.

(Just kidding. Although we will be adopting one once we get settled.)

Last week, in the midst of one of my panic attacks, I remembered why I felt so compelled to move back to the east coast. And almost immediately, I felt a wave of peace wash right over me.

As Charlie was tackling my mother's "Honey-Do" list and repairing a broken lamp, and Carolyn was rubbing her feet with lotion, and William and Henry were playing catch with Jim, and Elizabeth was dressing up with all of my mother's necklaces and accessories, and Mom would take turns holding our children in her lap while scratching their backs and telling them stories about when *I* was a little girl, I remembered that the #1 reason we uprooted our family and made this trek all the way across the country, was because I've always longed to be near my mother.

I'm the youngest and we're very close and that's just the way it is.

When Mom would go through surgery and the logistics of getting here were too complicated. Or when birthdays and holidays together were (repeatedly) missed because 3,000 miles separated us. Or when our children would ask to see a picture, because they forgot what their Noni looked like. I realized that if we didn't make the move, we'd run out of time.

Of course, I hope and pray that we have lots of time together. But because we are finally on the same seaboard, I'm filled with excitement since we now have a much greater potential for a lifetime of memories to be created. I'm filled with excitement that my children will really know their grandmother - and their grandmother will really know them.

For years and years, I've wanted to be close enough so that we're only a day's drive away.


And now we finally are.


  1. Yay, you're finding peace. Good to hear. You do *sound* peaceful from over here.

    But what in the holey cheese hell are you doing thinking new puppy? Don't add that to the mix for a long long time, woman. Be settled and peaceful for a very long stretch--a year at the absolute minimum--before you introduce that element. You and the kids have been through way too much already, and it's going to take a lot longer than you think, I bet, to really get your sea legs over there. New job, with new coworkers and environment and commuting, for one thing. And then a new social culture and a new geographical setting. And the new school life (believe me, kindergarten is waaaay more work for the entire family than I ever guessed it would be---getting kids up and ready, getting them to school with all their supplies for each day, picking them up again, doing homework, packing lunches, fitting in playtime, doing the dinner and bedtime thing...yowza!). And seasons! You've got to learn how to do the seasons with KIDS. That's a whole heckuva lot for kids to process in one year, ya think?

    When you've got all that worked out, THEN you can figure out how a dog will fit into your as-yet-undefined lifestyle.

    And when you do, I want a photo. Puppies are cute.

  2. "Last week, in the midst of one of my panic attacks, I remembered why I felt so compelled to move back to the east coast. And almost immediately, I felt a wave of peace wash right over me."

    It's so easy to forget during the craziness of change. I really needed to hear that!

    ...mind you, my change is a splinter compared to your multiple root canals,'s helpful all the same.

    Thanks :)

  3. Thank you Jen. You bring a tear to my eye. I am so happy to be able to know the children and they know where I live and get to spend some time with me and Jim. To have 3-five year olds is a handfull, but you are doing a wonderful Job. Henry is really so cute and I am glad I am getting to know him. Thank you to Charlie for fixing my dryer, and lamp and putting up the light bridge and for all the good meals.
    Virginia wants Charlie to come and stay with her when he is in California and she says she would love to have him.
    Looking forward to your safe return.
    Jim misses the kids and says, when are they coming back?

  4. family is most important and you seem to not only believe this, but live by this. Glad to hear that you are all feeling better!

  5. perfect....just perfect :)

  6. Well done! :D

    ~Cindy! :)

  7. I hope we can coordinate to get together on one of your trips to your mom's! Call me! I'll email my phone number.