It's nearly 4:00 AM Central time, and I can't sleep. I've been awake for about an hour and a half. Unaccustomed to insomnia, I have tried everything. Changing positions, nudging my husband back to his side of the bed, then surfing on my phone. I have trolled Craigslist, and in an unrelated train of thought, diagnosed myself with gallbladder disease. If I know you, chances are I have prayed for you tonight. I have prayed for myself, my husband, my children, and most of my friends and family, in detail. I am supposed to be up at 7:00 to workout at the pool before our day starts in this new, strange life. But I just can't sleep, so here I am.
We've been in the new house for a week now, but it doesn't feel like it. We stayed with my parents for several nights before making the trip. It was-- say it with me-- bittersweet. It felt very strange to be between homes. Emerie, our little homebody, kept saying (as she often does), "Okay, Mommy. I ready a go home now." I wonder what place she envisions when she says "home." I wonder if this feels like it yet.
As we approached Nashville, Mirabella asked me to tell her a story. I had been in the habit of telling her stories about a girl named "Pinky" (she chose the name). Pinky, as it turned out, was also in the process of moving with her family to Tennessee. She just so happened to be getting ready to see her new home for the first time on the same day as Mirabella. "How do you think she might be feeling?" I asked her.
"Like she wants to be in two places at once," she replied.
"Where?" I asked.
"Maryland and Tennessee."
"What else might she be feeling," I asked, cringing.
"Like maybe this might start to feel like home, after a little while."
When the movers arrived the next morning, Amy and the kids and I ran errands, delivered lunch, then went to the pool. It's hard to keep two preschoolers out of the way. When we got home there were boxes everywhere. Professional movers do not pack the way you do. One four-foot-tall box labeled "Kitchen" had three shelves in it (destined for the garage) and roughly 200 sheets of packing paper. Some rooms were more straightforward than others, but there really was no systematic way to unpack, and the boxes seemed to multiply. In those first days we met new neighbors, but unfortunately, only the ones who are on their way out of the neighborhood and wanted our empty boxes.
I've been to two new grocery stores, two farmer's markets, two new restaurants, a frozen yogurt place, and a new church. We have endured 109-degree heat, anxiety over lack of familiarity, money and routine, countless meltdowns from our little ones, and a couple from their parents. Saturday after we dropped Amy off at the airport, it started feeling more permanent. Today we were both out of sorts. Unsettled, I guess.
And now it's nearly 5:00 AM, and I sit wide awake at a computer that's stacked on top of three cardboard boxes. Send your prayer requests my way. In a strange turn of events, I've got nothing but time.