I am filled with a ton of emotions regarding this next step in my life. I thought it would be best to write it all down and blogging is such a great escape for me. Here I can sort everything out in writing and I a confident that I am sharing a little bit of me with good friends.
When we moved here from Wisconsin we were a family of five. Conan was my youngest and he was only 7 months. I remember nursing him every day on the couch in the living room. He took his first steps here. Today Conan is a happy, bright and busy 3 year old.
When we first moved here Ciara had just turned two. After painting the walls with the contents of her pull up she finally mastered potty training in this house. The living room is where I spent hours with the help from the UC Davis CARE center learning how to manage my defiant, strong willed little girl. Today she is an entertaining, energetic, loving and caring four and a half year old.
In this house I created an even stronger bond with my oldest child. She was eleven years old when we moved here. I watched her blossom from a little girl into a beautiful young lady. We danced and sang to Andrew Lloyd Webber in the tiny living room. I remember playing that Scrabble card game with her on the dining room table. And of course we shared many mother, daughter conversations about boys and friends. Today she is an intelligent, kind, creative and caring 13 year old.
This is the house where I brought home my sweet baby boy. I watched him change almost overnight from a little baby into a very active toddler. I spent hours nursing him in this home. I watched him roll over for the first time on the living room floor. And I remember when he started doing the army crawl and then a month later began crawling. He took his first steps in the living room shortly after he turned one. Today he is a fun, and active little 13 month old toddler.
I remember enjoying the mild evening weather with my husband in the backyard after the kids were asleep. We spent countless evenings talking, enjoying each other’s company while enjoying a beer or small glass of wine.
Along with the fond memories living here are some not so fond memories. This house is small. My family is big and still growing. Along with more birthdays and Christmas celebrations comes more toys for the kids. I am not a big fan of possessions but when the kids get a present I can not say no.
I have anxiety issues and through the past couple of years this house has become more and more cluttered. I am not going to miss the feelings of panic and claustrophobia as the walls closed in on me when toys were scattered everywhere. I remember screaming and yelling at my kids to clean everything up. My teenage daughter would complain about having to pick up her siblings toys every day. When I am under severe anxiety and panic I don’t have the courage to do it myself. Now a good 80 percent of their toys are packed up in boxes. My anxiety level has fallen considerably.
I am not going to miss the tiny fenced in backyard. Growing up in Wisconsin my parents had an acre property and a large open backyard. I have lots of memories of running around and playing in their backyard. When your yard isn’t fenced in it you feel free and full of life. Visiting with neighbors becomes a daily occurrence during the summertime. You know who your neighbors are with an open backyard. Back when I was growing up it was common for kids to walk through backyards to get somewhere. People were trusting and friendly.
Today my four year old daughter has to communicate with the neighbor girl through slats in between the fence. I wish I could do something about this. I want her to have friends in the neighborhood but the fence is getting in our way.
The fence also increases my anxiety. I feel closed in and alone walking around in that back yard. I don’t know my neighbors because communication is nearly impossible past the fence.
I’ve heard that open back yards are just a Mid Western thing. If that is true then I am going to have to put up with a fenced in yard for a little while longer. Hopefully our yard will be bigger. Only time will tell.
As I sit here typing and watching my kids play in the quaint little living room I realize that this move is going to bring hope for my family. Even though we will still be living just under the poverty line our income will increase. This is a new beginning. In a few months we will welcome another member to our family. The kids will be in new schools and hopefully I will finally be able to make friends and feel somewhat at home.