I’m sorry for my silence. I moved in February. Yay…..ay…..ay…..It’s been a much needed move, but so far the absolute worst yet (out of 14). One of the major issues with the new house- which I didn’t think to look for prior to signing the lease- is the lack of phone jacks. It’s a completely remodeled house! This makes connecting to the internet quite difficult. As I’m super stubborn when principles are involved (I had to buy a mailbox! I refuse to pay for phone installation on a rental house, a house that is not my investment, and as s***y as it’s become, will not be a long-term arrangement……move number 15 coming up…yay…ay….ay)
I wrote a really long, cathartic post about this whole experience. One I will not be posting. (Think happy thoughts, speak happy thoughts….)
I don’t think the boys and I have settled into this yet. It’s been three months, but we’ve been living with family for four years. They’ve forgotten how it was just the three of us before. And they’re four years older than they were when we fled Colorado. That’s my biggest struggle. Four years lost in limbo.
One of the first things unpacked was the photo albums. They’ve been in storage for four years, and I knew that the boys had forgotten a lot about our lives before. The things we did together. Maybe they forgot how much I love them. We lost our foundation coming here. I sacrificied my independence, a home, and it’s been hard. The visual ties to our past were gone and it really tormented me. I’ve taken what jobs I could since coming here, and at some hours were long. I left before they woke up, and sometimes got home in time to say goodnight. They’ve forgotten me- the three of us- during that.
So, first things to come out were those photo albums. The boys poured through them daily for the first month. I’d put them away at night and when I’d come home from work the next day, they’d be all over the couch again. My pictures from when I was a kid, when I was with their dad, and their baby albums, all the way up to five years ago, when I got so bogged down by other things I couldn’t keep up with printing our memories. Ah, I love Shutterfly, though 🙂 Printed up complete albums of our vacations while we’ve been here. Now our history is all together, accessible and allowable to them. Something they can retrace from the beginning to now. They were asking me questions and pointing things out, exclaiming over always believing certain things were dreams and not real, and muttering softly about other things they didn’t remember but that were good.
Just the three of us, no interference, no interruptions, and I have to learn them all over again. And that’s bittersweet. Well, mostly bitter. I was looking through some pictures I found and noticed that in most every picture of the three of us, I’m holding onto them. My hands on their shoulders if we’re standing. My arms around their waists if we’re sitting. Both or one in my lap. But I was always, always holding onto them. Holding them to me. My brother-in-law once yelled at me during a family picture because I had my hands on their shoulders. He didn’t like the way it looked. I don’t like pictures of families standing together and being very careful not to touch each other. (My family is like that. His/my sister’s as well).
But I can’t do that anymore- hold them. How odd and unexpected is that? It just hit me this weekend and I don’t know how to show them: Look. I always held you. When we first arrived here, Kid Number 1 began eating everything in sight. Constantly. I can’t keep him full. He’s thin as a rail but began growing day one here and hasn’t stopped. At twelve, he was 5’9. Officially taller than me. When was the last time he sat in my lap? He’s just about in high school. I need to teach him how to shave. Kid Number 2 is closing in. I look at them and it gets a little foggy: When did they do this? I’ve watched them grow but I couldn’t record it fast enough. Once, I could hold them both in my lap, and suddenly, now, I can fit in their clothes.
We went to the local mall on #1’s birthday a couple weeks ago, and a woman trying to sell me hair products referred to them as my brothers. I was having issues accepting #1 had just turned 13, so she absolutely made my day.
I want them to know, I always held them.
So #2 was digging around the yard yesterday and unearthed a Fu Dog statue. We looked it up and it turns out to be the female one as her paw is on top of a cub; meant to symbolize maternal strength and protection. The house has gotten itself some stars for this.