The way things were

photo 2
Child Pile!!!


My sister is moving out of town at the end of the month and I’m really, really going to miss her and her sweet kids. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this change as I take every opportunity to wrap my arms around these little people (my sister is waay shorter than me.) When a big change is a’coming, acceptance and understanding doesn’t come all at once. It seems to come in waves.  My whole family has been talking about this move, the house they’ll move into and the house they’ll be vacating here and eventually the conversations brought us around to something else that is really hard to wrap my brain around—The girls and Dave and I could move into my sister’s empty house.

When this came up I dismissed the possibility. It’s only 3 weeks to the start of school and the girls would have to change schools and I’m sure they wouldn’t be willing to do that. And Dave and I have enjoyed having separate residences. It has worked well for us. And the last time I lived in a house that wasn’t next door to my parents, I was really lonely so I’ll probably be sad and depressed and shouldn’t go. Better to stay where I am.

I managed to ignore the nagging “what if” and figured the decision neatly tied up but the conversation didn’t end there. Somehow the possibility of moving into Aunt Teensy’s house was leaked to Hazel and she brought it up at the breakfast table. “I think we should move. I’d love to have my own room and that house is so great.” To which I replied, “Well you’d have to change schools” convinced that she wouldn’t possibly want to leave her school. But then she said, “That’s fine. It might be fun to be at a new school.” She even had a little sparkle of excitement in her eye.


This was a big moment.


Right there at the breakfast table, I realized that all sorts of assumptions had been informing my thinking about a move and these assumptions and memories of how things used to be snuck by as “how things are.” I really believed that Hazel would never want to leave her school then she surprised me with this can-do, change-is-fun attitude.

Why was I so convinced that things are the way they were? I can remember a loooong, torturous year when Hazel was six and any change in routine could set off a screaming fit. I thought about how much I liked going to the same school from second grade through high school and how I want that for my girls. I can easily recall the events around Dave moving out and the gradual and lovely process of having him make his way back into my home and heart. I can also remember what it was like to have a baby, no family around, and to feel like I was trying to do it all by myself. This talk of moving brought up all sorts of old unpleasantness and not moving seemed like a way to avoid it. But is that a good way to make a decision?

After a few more days and time to take a closer look at some of these fears, I started to feel a shift towards the present.  I had a few more conversations with Dave and the girls thinking about how it might be for us to move. I made a call to the new school and a visit to the neighborhood pool and the move is starting to seem possible. As I attempt to look at where we are now, as dynamic and developing individuals that don’t have to continue to do things the way we used to,  living together in a sweet house sounds pretty good.


7 thoughts on “The way things were

  1. Shifting, shifting, shifting …the little seeds grow roots quickly when it feels right. Love Hazel’s pondering question to you.

  2. I dwell in the tamas, the land of excuses and dread of the imaginary. On the other hand, get enough caffeine in me and I swing to the rajasic – up for anything. What I need is satva; need the light that always knows the right thing to do. Sounds like the light is shining down on you, Amanda!

  3. Dear Amanda,

    Weeding through emails and just had a chance to read this and wanted to take a moment to tell you that you are SO incredibly lovely. What a beautiful gift you give all of us by sharing you with us! THANK YOU!

    Sincerely, Chase

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