I awoke this morning at 3 a.m. to a yelp and that unmistakable smell. Yep, it’s skunk season again ’round these parts. Apparently, somebody forgot to let the dog inside last night & she got sprayed again, and yes, the entire house now reeks. It’s not as bad as the last time, when merely just sitting in the kitchen would bring tears to your eyes, but it has permeated our entire livable space- there’s just no escaping.
Anyway, it reminded me of the time this happened last year, and I realized we’ve recently had an anniversary of sorts. We’ve officially been in our house now for a year, and I am, again, both shocked and amazed at not only how quickly time can fly by, but how much can change in a year.
The two years we spent in Florida were great, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I really believe it’s important to live away from where you grew up for at least a small portion of your life. I have to admit, however, that practically the whole time we lived there, I was missing home. Max was only one when we moved, and I felt like he was missing out on getting to know his family, not to mention his family getting to know him. I am not a particularly outgoing person, so making new friends was something that I always felt the pressure to do, but it also constantly stressed me out.
I often found myself dreaming of the day we could move back home, be with friends and family again, enjoy less pressure of continually being on our own, take a “real” family vacation, instead of using the time for visits home (no offense!). I fantasized about our daily life– the play dates with old friends, the interaction of Max & Wyatt with their cousins, the free babysitting, spending time with my parents. It was all so wonderful in my head.
Then, the day finally came when it was official– we got the offer to move back home. I was ecstatic. I didn’t care how, why, or when, just that it was going to happen. Looking back, we got really lucky with the timing of everything. I don’t think it would’ve happened in this economy. And selling our house? Fuggitaboutit.
In retrospect, it’s interesting to see how the reality is different from my fanciful utopia. Less than two weeks after we moved in with Bill’s parents, my dad got sick. It definitely put a different spin on how I envisioned our first summer back home would be. By then end of the calendar year, we not only lost him, but also another pregnancy, and Bill’s dad as well. Not at all what I had envisioned. I came to realize that certain relationships did not exist anymore. My utopia was shattered. The culmination of two years of wishing, wanting, and waiting, ended up being quite possibly the worst year of my life.
Ten months later, I feel like I am still picking up pieces. Slowly, I am stitching them back together into the ever-changing patchwork that is my new life. Some of them are missing. Some of them are just changed. But I’m adding new ones every day. They are a part of me and who I am, and they all coordinate, whether I can see that now or not.
Everybody knows that things don’t always turn out how you plan them– it’s one of the things we try to teach our children. It helps to stay flexible, go with the flow, adapt. One thing I have learned over the few years I’ve been on this planet is the human race is incredibly adaptable. I’m not comparing my life to one of those survival stories you see on Dateline or anything- you know, the one where the mountain climber gets pinned under a boulder for 15 days and has to bite off his own arm and lives to tell about it? Things change. At least I still have both my arms.
I didn’t intend this post to be a downer, more thought provoking than anything. I’m curious what new experiences our next year in this house will bring. There will be a new little person here soon to share in all the adventure. By this time next year, he’ll be just about 10 months old. It’s ironic. His due date is January 3rd. I won’t go in to detail, but let’s just say the “significant” dates for us last year were Dec. 5th, 17th, 30th, and January 2nd. We did not plan the timing, but I can’t help but wonder if this baby was sent as a beacon to illuminate what could otherwise be a very dark time in our recent memories. Now, instead of dwelling on what’s missing, we will be celebrating. I am thankful for that.
Ok, I’m done with the sad stories for a while….