I'm writing from bed. I'm pressed on either side by the sleeping and slanted bodies of my two oldest children. The baby is asleep in his playpen at our feet. And the toddler is sleeping with Grandmaman.
I fell asleep with them at 830. I don't think I've gone to bed that early unless I was sick since 1989. (Suddenly feeling incredibly old.) But they need the cuddles. They need the extra security of mama at bedtime because we've just turned their world upside down. We moved away from the only home they've ever known and it's going to be a few weeks before we press our feet against the floorboards of our new home. We're spending a week with the grands en route, and then a week house-sitting. It's disorienting, strange. I took V to Emergency yesterday and when they asked for our address I was all at sea. We're between addresses. Like a letter, sent, but not yet received.
And yet ... being in this limbo is special. Not easy (all four kids melted down at suppertime), and lonely (Patrick stayed behind to work), but special, because instead of just thinking about the next thing, we have time to cherish the last thing.
When we came to Thunder Bay, my parents drove us up in their Honda Civic. My dad's little trailer hauled our few possessions, and it was just the two of us hunting for a place to call our own. Now, six and a half years later, we're going out with a huge trailer and a van load ... and four precious children. We came to the city so empty, and we are leaving so full.
I remember our drive up to Thunder Bay, passing a sign welcoming us to the district (about three hours before reaching the city proper). I couldn't help but read it with that ache, the sorrow of loss and emptiness that miscarriage bleeds into the future - trying to imagine what opportunities awaited, trying not to think about the empty backseat that should have held a carseat or two. I remember holding Patrick's hand and being so glad I was with him.
Prepping for moving away, I didn't have much time or mental space to wax emotional. There were kids to manage and a million decisions to make (and ohhh I hate decisions!) and goodbyes to say or not say and couches to carry and meals to cook and noses to wipe and did I mention the decisions? So I hadn't really given myself any emotional space until I saw that sign.
And I was driving past it again. This time without Patrick -
But so, so full.
Our gorgeous firstborn was holding up a rattle for the baby to grab. The two middles were laughing and pretending to be Dora and Boots. And mom and dad were moving us once again.
Full. I'm telling you.
My stupid heart burst wide open, and Sam asked, "why are you crying, mama?"
"Because I love you so much," I replied.
So, dear Thunder Bay, thank you. We came empty and you sent us out full. You look industrial and adventurous and I had no idea that you would be such a gorgeous garden where our family would grow.
God bless you, city. I love you so much.