We're moving to California. It's something we had been quietly talking about off and on as an In The Future possibility for months, but back in April, opportunity arrived and made it our next step NOW.
The last two months have been a whirlwind of preparation and shifting as more than just where we will call home rapidly changes. Be it professionally or personally our family of five is experiencing transition, uprooting, growth and evolution in nearly every aspect of our lives. From where I sit trying to take it all in, it's an exciting, liberating, empowering, and nerve wracking season for us. I'm thrilled and terrified, hopeful and nervous.
Our experience here in Austin has been both beauty and pain in some unexpected, definitive ways so I'm apprehensive about erecting any expectations around what I hope, desire, or think Cali will be like. My main focus at this stage is fixed on just getting us there and building a new (behavioral health & education based) support network for the boys. It's a daunting task to try and wrap my mind around much else right now.
Everything has been happening at a neck breaking pace. Bertski's been gone for a month, already transitioned into his new role at work. We sign a new lease next week. Bren finished 2nd grade today and Alex graduates from preschool tomorrow. Two weeks of camp start on Monday, all three boys wrap up their care with our current team of therapists at the end of the month and then the boys and I fly to New Jersey for 3 weeks with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Philly friends. There's also a road trip to Asheville, NC for an event I'm excited about and a train ride to NYC for BlogHer. Then we come back to Austin to tie up any remaining loose ends, say goodbye to friends, and hit the road to San Jose.
My head spun a little just typing that out-even though I've written it and repeated it out loud and mentally almost daily since the middle of April. The Plan. We all know The Plan. Thankfully, despite as stressful as it can get living parts of it out day to day, it's working. Piece by piece, things are coming together.
When it comes to the solo parenting aspect of this process, I hope I'm managing it as well as I want to be and not coming undone at the seams. Some moments it feels like I am, others I mentally yell "Snap out of it, get a GRIP, this is nothing, you got this" and soldier through the overwhelm. I don't know. It's hard to tell some days how I'm navigating any of this because I'm simply too tired to think by the time dinner and bath time roll around every evening. Being too tired to think means that once the kids are in the bed, writing and paint are largely out of the question, but I read-I make sure I feed my creativity with words an images from others. I stay engaged on social media. It helps. Distraction always helps me decompress. It keeps me together and mentally sharp for the kids, and from missing Bertski too much.
This will probably come out sounding more emotional than I intend it to, but the level at which I miss him has honestly been the hardest part. It's the part The Plan doesn't account for. His presence has a way of quietly steadying me that I miss when he's gone for more than 5-7 days. We call, text, Skype...but I miss him physically being here, his energy humming alongside mine. Granted I'm relieved I don't have to listen to angry Linda Perry songs in the morning while he showers, but the silly dances he does with me to help me fight my way through Lithium's fog? Miss those. Missed them the hardest today when I was greeted with the fog upon awaking and found myself just too damn tired to fight, to push forward with the grind, with working The Plan, with adjusting to and preparing for Change. I didn't realize him not being here to carry out his part of this ritual we've naturally developed and designed to carry us through our day would leave me feeling a little lonely.
So this morning I grabbed my phone as I climbed out of bed (LATE) and pressed play on one of his (our) favorites. Back when we first moved here and had one car, we'd sing it at the top of our lungs while we flew down Mopac as we drove him to work. (The fact that neither of us can sing was and continues to be completely irrelevant.) I pressed play, started singing, grabbed Brennan's hand, and we danced our way to the kitchen to grab ourselves and his brothers breakfast.