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.