Friday, February 12, 2010

Smooth-ish transition.

Everything is changing.

First off, we are buying a house. It's lovely, a "Dutch Colonial," I hear. I don't know what the hell that means, but I nearly gasp everytime I see it. Just ask the neighbors, as they have seen me parked out front for an hour or so. I like to imagine the kids running past the windows and roller skating on the wood floors. I see them in the front yard-barefoot in the grass- while Nick and I swing on the not-there-yet-porch swing.

It's not ours yet, but we are close. We have been hearing "any day now" for several weeks. I'm not sure if this falls on the realtor or the mortgage company, but dangit, HURRY UP.

See, I don't know if you knew this or not, but I like smooth transitions. It's my secret passion. If we would have stayed in Hollywood any longer, I may have ended up being a famous producer, making sure all was well. I'd be paid billions of dollars a year and have all the best parties. I would have to hire someone to make sure all was always well and that we never ran out of salsa and tequila. That's right people: even if I was rich and famous, I'd still serve chips and salsa and margaritas every chance I got. I hope you would appreciate my "down-to-earth"-edness.

When planning our wedding, I was told to decide what the most important things were for me. These were things that I'd lay up at night in the months following the wedding and dream of doing another way. Did I want to spend thousands on bows for the chairs? Did I want hand-cut, hand-made paper confetti blessed by Jesus falling out of the invitations when opened? We thought long and hard (for about 5 minutes) and I decided for us 2 non-negotiables: a party that people would never forget and smooth transitions.

I got both. I really did. And since those were my main focus, I didn't melt when my cake caught on fire and fall part when my bouquet did. It was hilarious all the things that went wrong, but dammit, no one starved while we were off taking pictures.

So anyway, this whole house thing has taken forever. For the first few weeks of the negotiating and waiting process, I had ---well, let us just be polite and say the same after-dinner feeling I experience with Indian food. It was awful. I prayed, at least, that I was losing weight while I lost everything else. (Why not?) But, now, now I'm just annoyed. I want to move. I want to buy new furniture. I want to have a basement to hide my crap.

It has been quite the pleasant distraction with all the other things going on. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Miss Ella is 3 today. And thus in celebration for her birthday, she has given me a 3 hour nap. Owen, actually, is still sleeping too. Did Nick drug them as my present? Who cares. I'm trying to type fast!
You should have seen her this weekend, picking out toys at Toys R Us. She was giddy and delirious and in serious melt down mode by the time we were finished. I kept picturing the Bearenstein Bears "Too Much Birthday" book and wishing we'd just ordered her presents online. Nevertheless, she did quite enjoy herself and I do have hope for very exciting shopping trips with her in our distant future.

Three years is so much more symbolic for us than it sounds. Age 3 is when she "ages out" of her early intervention therapy program (First Steps). No more at-home therapy and on to hospital-based care. In case you were wondering, Ella does not fancy hospitals. Crap.

But, she does love people who love her and if we find the right people, all will be fine. For me though, it hasn't been quite that easy.

It wasn't as if Carol, Miriam, Stacy, Brenda and Angie all left on the same day. No - they felt the need to torture me greatly and spread out their goodbyes over the span of 2 weeks. Just when I stopped snotting all over my shirt, another therapist (friend) had to go.

I decided it was important to let myself grieve appropriately over the loss of these relationships. And I did. And they cried too. I wonder if I can do this without them. If you remember back that far:
Brenda - Nutrition started at 1 month old
Carol - Speech started at 1 month old
Miriam - Physical Therapy started at 6 months old
Stacy - OT/ Cranial Sacral/ Yoga started at 18 mos
Angie - Social Work started last December ( but I feel like I've known her forever!)

I'm attached and dependent and will miss them greatly. I don't know how to do this all on my own because my support system has been so great. But, then again, there is a season for everything and it's my season to step up and do what needs to be done.

It makes it easier that Ella is so darn cute and thankful. Incredibly thankful - you should see her open her presents, like she's been living in poverty - receiving the first toys of her life. She is so smart and understands enough to know that it is important to try - try to eat, try to talk, even when the words are hard.

Owen keeps telling me that it will be alright. He is sure of it. I think back on these past 3 years and realized how much more difficult life would have been with a different first-born. A whinier, uglier and more demanding child would hate me right now when he visited me in the Home. Owen overflows with compassion and empathy. He's the nice kid. It all seems a little too strategic on God's part.

"Mom, it will be OK. Remember: when someone you love goes, there memories stay in your heart. Don't worry."

I'm hoping if I hang out with him long enough, I'll catch what he's got.