Monday, March 7, 2011
I will remember this day for a very long time. And the reason today was memorable has nothing to do with the fact that we woke up to freezing cold house because the heating oil ran out in the middle of the night. I didn’t panic. I knew George, my dependable oil guy, was already on his way this morning, to do his scheduled oil delivery.
I probably won’t remember that we were forecast to get a bunch of rain and a little snow, and instead woke up to a little rain and a whole lot of snow. Another snow day, which left me with a house full of kids.
But I’ll remember today because it was the good kind of ‘house full of kids’. The kids I’m surrounded by are in good moods, who have a special enthusiasm. They found out exciting news a few days ago. After nearly nine months of going through a difficult waiting process, their dad got a phone call on Friday that changes our lives. He got a job in Colorado.
We’ve loved living the past five years in New York. There are lots of great things about living here. We’ve explored the big City to our south and discovered fun places in Boston too. We know the roads to New Hampshire very well, having spent many weekends mixing and mingling with a whole bunch of fun family over there. Thanks to Grammy and Grandpa, the kids are familiar with the beaches of Maine and know the best place to get lobster there (Barnacle Billys!).
Albany has many treasures we’ll miss. The Plaza area under the Egg is a great place to take visiting friends and family. The State Museum is a treasure to explore, and their September 11th display will always make me cry. I’ve dragged my kids along the Indian Ladder Trail so many times they groan every time I say we’re having people come visit, knowing that’s my favorite place to take them.
We will leave behind many great friends too. Five years is a long time to build relationships. Sam almost set a record in our family, coming within a year of experiencing his whole elementary school career in one school. Each of our children has put down roots and built long term friendships. I’ve found a job that fits me perfectly and friends I will never lose touch with.
But we all knew we wouldn’t be in New York forever. Each of us missed the lifestyle we left back in the West. We loved the perfect snow, the dry climate, and the breath taking mountains. As the one who does the bookkeeping in our house, I desperately missed the lower cost of living and lower taxes.
So when our son was accepted into his first college of choice, a school in Utah, and we all realized that maybe it was time to think about another move, Colorado seemed like a really good fit.
We almost moved last fall. Then the job offer changed and it no longer worked for us. Out of the blue, another job opportunity came up and we began the waiting process again. So by the time the phone call came, saying it was real, we could hardly believe it. It was hard to comprehend. It’s still a bit difficult to wrap my brain around. But if I am to believe my usually trustworthy husband, it is true, and now comes the chaos.
I’ve been in this place before, knowing we are on our way out, but still very firmly grounded in a place I love. My most recent memory is of our transition from Utah to New York. Our very best friends lived across the street. Every day of packing ended with looking out my front window and seeing them, and their children, coming and going, and knowing I would forever miss that view. I knew there would be good friends in New York, but no one would specifically replace Jeff and Laura.
So today I am getting those familiar feelings. My children are all in good moods, which doesn’t happen a lot when you have four kids, three of them teens. They are all still in the excited phase, the one where we don’t have to think about the goodbyes yet, only about the fun parts of moving. They are dreaming of new bedrooms and new woods to explore. They are ready to have season passes to ski slopes that have perfect powder six months of the year.
I have them in cleaning out mode, as the house needs to go on the market soon. Suddenly, if it means packing it or not, they are seeing our belongings in a new way. More than half of our family board games didn’t make the cut, as one of my boys sorted through them, making a huge pile to donate. He was so enthusiastic about cleaning out that I had to save some of my favorites from the chopping block (I can’t live without all three versions of Apples to Apples).
I spent the morning photographing Lego creations that will now be dismantled and packed away. As we all worked together the radio blared in the background. My extra son, a neighbor who has become a part of our family and will always carry a part of my heart with him, hung out on the extra bed across the room, strumming the guitar and discussing chords with my boys. My little guy patiently and diligently filled ziplocs with the colorful pieces of each creation.
It was a magical snow day, that had very little to do with snow. It was our first day of living out our news and our first day of taking steps that will lead us down a new road. It was all good and exciting. No tears yet. Today held its own innocent brand of magic.
All of the excitement and none of the pain.