change ahoy!

i promised myself that i would post twice per week, starting in january.

that went along swimmingly, until wordpress started eating my posts, i ran out of things to write about, got freaked out after posting about mental illness, and our life became a petri dish with the perfect conditions for the bacteria of change to proliferate.

those are my excuses, and i’m sticking to them. ahem.

oh, change. i love it and i hate it – like most people, i suppose. it’s almost spring, the proverbial herald of new beginnings, and we’re taking it seriously around here.

the carpet replacers from lowe’s came yesterday. they’ll come back next week to finish the job. the downstairs soon-to-be-playroom is full of boxes. half of our housemate savannah’s room is full of boxes and random items. the back yard is full of shed pieces. the furniture in the dining room will be moving downstairs soon. we spent last monday at ikea, pricing cabinets. there are new cars in the driveway, and at other times, cars parked in the driveway that will not be there in a couple weeks.

our house, our little suburban hippie commune, is experiencing the biggest changes since we moved in 4 years ago.

our family grew up in this house, from a family of two to a family of three, then two, then three, then four. plus a cat. all this, surrounded by our beloved housemates.

my housemates were some of the very few people who came to the hospital to see and hold sky. i got joel’s call about ash here, and our housemates were the first to know. i spent my pregnancy with aida here, hiding in the bedroom with an ice pack over my face while housemates held ash and brought me tapioca pudding. my biological children were conceived here, most likely within a few feet of housemates. a housemate cleaned my meconium stained pool of amniotic fluid while i was in labor with aida. i’ve held housemates while they cried, and they’ve held me. we’ve laughed together, played together, said hello and goodbye countless times.

and now, we’re changing. complete turnover.

we’re losing savannah, who my children have seen almost every morning and evening for their whole lives.
we’re losing ian, who moved into the house before we did; he’s lived here longer than anyone else.
we’re losing micah, who joined the crew almost three years ago and built his life in oregon from the home base of this house.

the last of the old guard, the twenty-something childless singles who defined the energetic culture of the house, are leaving.

change is hard.

but as hard as endings are … new beginnings are kind of fun.

downstairs we have a new set of housemates, a family. julie is a mom of four, three of which live with her in our downstairs at least part time. when my children shriek and clatter toys across the floor, i rest in the knowledge that the racket falls upon the sympathetic ears of a mom, a woman who has “been there, done that” and told me just the other day that she loves finding the toys my children have thrown down the stairs because they make her miss the days when her children were young.

i sigh with relief. she understands.

her kids buzz with the life of high school and college students, activities and homework and the aura of possibility that surrounds middle class young adulthood. there is energy here, and dreams, and the best laid plans of humanity gingerly trying on its new freedom.

in just over a week, joel’s parents will move into our garage-turned-into-master suite. they will sell, give away, and pack up a life lived in southern california, step on a jet, and step off in portland two hours later, home. the next great adventure awaits them, and we’re going to be part of it!

even the house itself is changing, buzzing with activities and growing pains as new carpet replaces old, a storage shed materializes out back, the walls spend a saturday changing color, the kitchen prepares for a remodel, the downstairs transforms into a playroom.

but the interim …

oh, the interim! the boxes and the uncertainty and the lack of routine and the awkwardness of the time of transition! this i do not like. nothing turns me into an anxiety ridden ball of stress quite like times of transition. i don’t think it’s until our surroundings change that we realize how defined we are by our surroundings. maybe i’m the only one – but i feel like a different person if i so much as get new drapes! i wander around the new-draped room, subconsciously trying to define my self in this space, figure out who i will be in a world where the drapes are … whatever the new drapes are.

maybe i’m the only one who’s quite that neurotic, or maybe not. but either way, i’m breathing deeply and holding my anti-anxiety meds close at hand these days, the kids are watching perhaps a bit more daniel tiger’s neighborhood than we might prefer, and we’re eagerly anticipating the advent of a new routine, whatever it may look like.

but first, there are still a few more messes to make, a few more goodbyes, and a few more tears to shed, as we close this fun and beautiful chapter in the little suburban hippie commune at the end of the cul de sac.