Monday, August 23, 2010

Hopes and Dreams

Today was the first day of school for my girls. I was so incredibly nervous for them for a lot of reasons. First, we are in such a small town compared to where we were living before. On one hand, that is good because everybody knows everybody else. On the other hand, it can suck being the only one who doesn't know anybody. I have never attended a small school, myself, so I had no way to know if the horror stories I had heard about small town cliques were true around here. The last thing I want for my girls is to move them miles and miles away from all their friends and then not be able to make new ones. I shouldn't have worried a bit. TD and EG made lots of friends and had a great time (except for the boys in EG's class who called her a midget, but they got in trouble anyway.) Even LH (who's new school is only as large as her last class was) made a few friends and seemed happier than I have seen her in months!

Second (and this might seem a trifle silly,) I was seriously worried about what my girls were wearing. This is the first time my girls have attended a school that DIDN'T require uniforms. In spite of my rather liberal take on most things, I am a big supporter of uniforms. It is less expensive for me and less stress for the girls. But, it means I worry less about what else they have in their closet because they only have play clothes, really.When considering what they own and what I would still need to purchase for them, I was a bit concerned. I anticipated a lot of, "EVERYONE has them! I HAVE to have it!" Amazingly, when I pulled out everything the girls currently have that is acceptable for school, and we went through it all together, LH was the only one who needed anything new (other than shoes, of course.)  How my kids became so SENSIBLE I have no clue, but I am certainly thankful for it! The only reason LH even asked for anything is because she has outgrown most of what she has. Even then, she only asked for the bare minimum to get by. So, since they were happy with what they had, I was happy to not have to shop for it. Each of them got one, new, nice pair of sneakers and we were all satisfied. Just to be sure, this afternoon I asked the girls how things went and if they thought they had the same clothes as everyone else. All three of them felt that they were going to do just fine with what they had.

Third, I was worried about all the normal stuff I worry about every year. How will the girls react to going back to school? Will they behave in class? Will the teachers be fair? Will they have any trouble going through the lunch line? Will they get lost on the way to class or after school?  Of course, I had nothing to worry about. Smaller schools apparently mean more attention per student and all three girls did just fine.

I had other things on my mind today, as well. We were supposed to get a call today about the rent house and whether they would approve our application or not. I was seriously sweating this. An approval meant we would be in our own place within two weeks. If they decided to go with another applicant instead (assuming there was another applicant) it would mean more looking or settling on a house that is less perfect than we want and then going through the approval process all or over again. I know that the owner of the house did not really want pets and having our dog with us was non-negotiable. Also, I almost felt it was too good to be true. This house is GORGEOUS.  All original hardwood floors that were re-finished in the last few years. The previous tenants kept the house immaculately clean and even had painted the house in tasteful, well done, neutrals. The yard was groomed and it was clear that someone had spent some time gardening and planting flowers. Was this really a rent house that we could afford?

It seems it is. Around 12:00 I got a message from DH that he received the call from the management and they approved our application! We get to move in just under two weeks! The relief I am feeling is more than I can actually put into words. It feels like we have been floating without a destination for so long now. Finally, we have a place to land. My kids will have their toys and clothes back in a room of their own. I will have a kitchen of my own to cook and store food in. I will get to sleep in my own, luxuriously comfortable bed (that might be what I have missed the most!)

I will miss staying with WP, strangely enough. Having his help and his calming attitude has kept me sane for the past month. I know that a one bedroom apartment is hardly a good situation for us for any stretch of time, but I am slightly anxious when I think about being back in a place of my own. No one will be there to help cook if I am too tired to do it myself. I will have no other person to be seen by so I might fall off the routines that have focused my day. Will my laundry pile up once again? Will I give in to the fatigue when there is no one else around but me?

Actually, I think I will be ok. I have three wonderful daughters and as much as I hate to saddle them with more responsibilities, they really need to have the experience of keeping things neat and tidy on their own. If the last few weeks are any indication, I have actually been lax in raising them to pick up after themselves. They are all coming to the age where I should be guiding more and doing less. LH has cooked entire meals without supervision. TD recently learned how to wash, dry, fold, and sort laundry on her own. Even EG, who is only 7, is capable of washing the dinner dishes by herself quite successfully without a dishwasher. There is no reason I should be doing all of the housework myself. My continuing to do everything is actually doing them a disservice by denying them the ability to learn these skills themselves.

I understand that the past month has been necessary for my survival and even healing. Being with WP has been the crutch I needed to get past this rough patch, but in a good way. Now I feel that it is time for me to stand on my own feet again. I am healing and getting stronger everyday. I am even hurting less and feeling more energy. Living in a new place so far from what I have known nearly all my life is certainly going to be an adventure. I really think that all the things that we have gone through have prepared me for what we all need to do now.

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