The Moving Train
August 6, 2010
It's been over a week since we left Brooklyn, and, by the time you read this blog post, our little family will have arrived-- finally-- in Austin, Texas, our new home. We sent our belongings off with movers last Tuesday, and since then have stayed with friends in Brooklyn, at a bed and breakfast in Madison, Wisconsin (in the company of fourteen extended family members, all there for my brother's wedding), and with my mother-in-law in Dallas. Though we've made a concerted effort to maintain as much of our routine (namely our bedtime routine) as possible, for Kaspar's benefit, that effort has mostly amounted to a ballpark time frame for starting his bath-- meanwhile accounting for a time zone change-- and repeated readings of Goodnight Moon. Considering, too, that Kaspar's slept over the past week in and on everything from Moses baskets to pack n' plays and our bed (as well as napped on various airport surfaces, and, while we were packing the trucks, a blanket on our empty apartment's floor), I can gratefully report that he's been a model of adaptability.
We are still sleep deprived, in a general sense (and it still sucks to be sleep-deprived in a general sense), but no more so than usual. By day, too, Kaspar's been nothing short of a party animal. He has attended a total of (count 'em) seven celebratory gatherings in the past week and a half, beginning last Wednesday night with dinner at a bustling barbeque joint wherein we bid farewell to our New York friends, and ending with a mid-morning brunch in Madison before our departure to Dallas. He's been passed from one eager pair of unfamiliar arms to the next, and, well, I'll just say that 'stranger anxiety' has most definitely not yet kicked in. We've been asked “Is he always this happy?” and can actually affirm that he is. Thank God for that, too, as Aaron and I are straight up spent (if you've managed to follow any of the above, I'm sure you can imagine why); attempting this move with an unhappy baby would be a bad, bad scene. So I'm feeling lucky, if a little wiped out.
It's been a crazy week, but I'm not sure it could have gone down any differently; it's not like we'd have wanted to skip my brother's wedding. We wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the family time, either, and this trip allowed for grandparents on both sides to get some quality time in with our little man (which in turn allowed us a grown-ups-only date to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Wisconsin, and an anniversary dinner-- we've been married for one year!-- at Torchy's Taco's in Dallas). That being said, doting relatives and new grandparents alike need a fair amount of oversight, and while Aaron and I appreciated every second of our two dates together, we are craving decompression time, sleep, and real routine, for at least a little while (we've agreed to no major life changes for at least six months!).
There's still so much to do, from unpacking the crib to puzzling out health insurance options; I also start my new job on Monday, and have some exciting freelance projects on deck. We've moved to Austin in pursuit of time, physical space, and the lifestyle that we really want as opposed to one necessitated by the demands of big-city survival. We chose Austin because all signs point to yes in terms of our achieving those things here. But this past week has reminded me that parents of young children and babies don't really get vacation even when on vacation-- and we are, importantly, not moving to be on 'vacation' from real life. My life is still, and will be, very full, and that's the way I like it, but I'll now have additional flexibility in determining what I do, and when I do it. It's up to me, too, to create the life I want-- to do the work I want to do, to be the mom I want to be, and to find those brief moments of decompression time wherever they can be found, in the midst of it all, and take them for all they're worth. Austin is a canvas, not a coloring book. Would I like to get a facial and read fluffy magazines for a few days, or even a few hours, before jumping on Monday's moving train? Yes. But the fact is, I'm on the train already-- I'm a mom, in constant motion-- and there's a good breeze, always an interesting view, and ever a great destination. Wish me luck!
In what ways do you keep yourself focused on what's most important to you? How do create calm in the midst of chaos? What big changes have you undertaken with a baby or kids in the mix, or what moves do you plan and hope to make? How you do psych yourself up for Mondays (literal or proverbial) when you're always going full tilt?