Saturday, May 1, 2010

Birthing a new home

Moving is a lot like childbirth.

There are months of preparations, planning, excitement.  You think about the options (hospital or home...do-it-yourself or movers) and get some strategy in place.

And then, things look nothing like the strategy and you just do what you need to do to make it happen. 

I love childbirth and I love moving...but in the middle of each, I wonder WHY I'm there.  Wondering how to escape.  Needing to move through the intensity to make it through to the other side.   To me, both are about the process.  The lessons you learn...what you see about yourself.

When you birth a baby, your soul is the most primal place imaginable.  I've tried explaining it to Steve, but there are no words for it.  I have never been so clear about who I was...what I was meant to be...the depth of human experience as I have during birth.  And while it always takes me by surprise, moving does much of the same.  The exhaustion, the mental and physical chaos (where is my shampoo...our dishes...why do we have so many pillows?).

Just as you're about to surrender to the hopelessness, it's over.  Before you know it, you're doing the final wipe down of the countertop or holding your baby.  And while Childbirth Triumph certainly trumps Moving Triumph, the trajectory is the same.  Just the level of emotion is a bit different.  ;)

Also, friends can only come so far but then you're on your own for the "thick" of it.  I was blown away by how many offers for help came our way.  Wonderful persons, my friends are.  But despite all the outpouring, there is still this Dark Place (of childbirth and of a move) where you are alone in the situation.  You stare at that situation and think, I cannot do this.  You are quite certain this will never succeed.  Your stuff won't be moved out in time.  There's too much stuff and too few boxes and the clock is ticking.  Or that the baby will be 18 years old and still in the birth canal.  This helplessness and doubt that comes...oddly enough...right before the triumph.

We are here now, in the new place.  And I have this surge of joy and adrenaline and energy.  I told myself we weren't unpacking a thing this weekend...just relaxing.  But it's feeling great to settle in.  It was worth it.

The kids are in the courtyard running circles in the tennis court.  It looks like it's really nice to be a child. :)  Sweaty hair, rosy cheeks, laughter.

I thought the move might be tricky for them - but it was only about the transition (moving days were rough for them) - not the new place.  The novelty suits them well.  They must get that from their mother. ;)

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