Of Beach Umbrellas in the Gray
It's cold and wet and pretty nasty weather here, for Austin. In the 30's and not moving much. Naturally, the weather forecast did not mention rain (don't get me started) so I didn't bring in our jaunty pool umbrella and it is stationed by the pool, lifting its bedraggled colors in attempt to mitigate all the gray.
I feel sort of gray myself.
We're headed into the last stretch of home improvement/repair before we list our house for sale on Wednesday. I wouldn't say we can see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but we definitely are past the half-way point. (Hello out there!) While my husband was gone to New York this week, I did a LOT of work. In fact, I probably did a bit too much.
Because last night, when Jane (7) saw the new blinds in the living room? (Dudes, I replaced our disgusting and dated mini-blinds with these fake wood ones that are all the rage. Well, the FAKE ones aren't all the rage but the real ones are and for my purposes and budget, the fake ones looked plenty real enough. Anyway, it looks much nicer. And yes, I DID just illustrate a digression with a photo. Why do you ask?)
Anyway, when Jane saw the new blinds, she burst into tears. "I want the old blinds back! Nothing in here looks like HOME."
So, then later, as she was going to bed, she cried again about the move. She's worried because she won't know anyone and it's not THIS house and she's afraid the kids up there won't like her. It's funny because I'm so confident that Jane will be completely fine that I haven't paid much attention to what are totally natural fears of the unknown on her part. It's just like the rain that sneaked up on me, you know? I should have been more prepared.
I stayed with her and wiped her face and gave her butterfly kisses and told her all about what I knew of the place where we're moving and in the end, her eyes were closing as her tears tapered off and she fell asleep. I stayed there for a bit, watching her sleep and fighting the urge to just call this whole move from Texas to New York off.
I truly believe that it's going to be a great life experience for my kids. I think that in the end it will be one of those defining events --the event where they learn that not everyone sounds the same as their Texas friends. The one where they learn that there is culture bigger than what Austin has to offer. Where they learn what it's like to walk into a classroom full of strangers and walk out with friends.
But as I've been focused on getting this house ready to sell, I've forgotten about preparing the path looking forward to New York for my children --which just seems unforgivably stupid now, in retrospect. Because my kids are THINKERS, and while I've been rushing around like a mad woman assuming that I'll have plenty of time later to prepare them for the move, they've been doing a lot of imagining on their own now. Having moved so often as a kid, I guess I forgot how scary the whole concept is for kids who have NEVER moved. Jane was born in this house, you know? And she is just the brightest, sunniest, sparkliest little kid. It always takes me by surprise when she admits her fears or sensitivities. I'm so very certain that she is going to take Long Island by storm that I forgot that even little Hurricanes get cold and afraid.
I think maybe I lost sight of the fact that, even in Jane's world, sometimes it looks very gray and sometimes she stands there with her colors a bit bedraggled in the face of it.
But it's okay, Janie, because no matter where we are, these gray rainy days never last very long. I love you so much, my little sweetheart. I'll do better from now on not getting caught unaware when a front moves through.