Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eating on the floor with Cinderella.

We are in our new home.  Definitely until December 16th, but likely we might be here until May.  This seems like an incredible expanse of time to stay in one place, in our minds.

For how at ease I felt floating around the country in our Sienna and stopping at hotels for months, I have to say:  It's also really nice to put something on a shelf and know it will STAY there for a few months. :)

It's also really nice to have all our belongings in one place.  We've spent most of our last year with things in storage  - and for the first time, we have it all right here.  And, we actually pull our clothes out of a REAL DRAWER instead of a suitcase.

The biggest thing we're appreciating right now, though, is that the kids each have their own bedroom. Yes, they are sleeping on camping cots for the time being...but they have their own rooms.

We knew resolutely that we weren't "stuff" people. I would trade a moving van of belongings for one meaningful experience.  And we knew that we didn't need a large space.  We were unloading our belongings at the same time we were moving out of a 4-bedroom home, so we always correlated the two.

But now, we're trying -- for the first time -- having very few belongings but a large, 3-story space.  

The house looks funny, indeed.  A big kitchen but no table.  I do want to remedy that, though, as that's a functional item we need.  We've had eating-counters and stools for the last few places we lived.

One TV but two living rooms.  We have 2 recliners of our own right now.  An we ordered a futon to be delivered this week, as right now Steve and I have no bed.  We have a make-shift pile of sleeping bags and comforters in the living room, which gives the children the entire upper floor.

There is so much wide open space, and I love it. 

Maybe this is our new learning nugget from this move.  There's always *something* we learn from each new home...each new experience.  And what I see now is that the big homes weren't what I didn't like, it was what filled them.  Each child having a room that they can fill with their art and special items, but not overgrown with toys, seems to be the secret ingredient. 

Jack is taking so much pride in having his own room.  Even in the 4-bedroom home, 2 of the rooms were downstairs, and our kids were too young to be a floor away from us.  So they were all sharing the giant upstairs bedroom, and 2 rooms weren't really used.

This is the first time he's had his Own Space.  Watching him set things up, being so proud about hanging all his clothes in his own closet, cracked my heart a bit.  Had we deprived him of something, that this is the first time he's had it?  But then...maybe he wouldn't appreciate it in the same way?  He doesn't seem resentful that he's shared a space with his siblings; he just seems thrilled to have his own room now.  

We told him he could stay up as late as he wants if he's reading, and I walk past his room to see him sitting there with a book, hours after the little two have gone to bed.  "All I really need is my bed and a basket of books," he told me about his room. 

I feel like he matured about 2 more years when he got a space to create for himself.  Putting his clothes in a hamper.  Stacking the books on his shelf.  He has a chance to have responsibility for space that he's never really had before.

I think this might be our new realization:  It wasn't the excess of space, it was the excess of stuff.  Having that small-place, temporary home section of our life was critical to really defining our items for us.  We were forced to analyze what we needed and wanted.  Even if the choices were illogical at times (we still have that giant bunny suit, y'all)...they fit our family and the scope of our dreams for our life.

I posted to Facebook last night about our kitchen table: "We need a temporary kitchen table for this place, so we went to 5 different thrift stores yesterday. We still have no table (my children eat their dinner like puppies, plates on the floor), but we came home with *15* different Halloween costumes for the kids. Tonight I am dining (on the floor) with Cinderella, Wolverine, and Iron Man. This should be a festive next month in our house."

This is our life, folks.  If words could form a family picture, these would be the words to be framed on our mantle.  We are sleeping on camping cots, wearing dress-up clothes, don't own a kitchen table, but are taking private Russian lessons.   

It doesn't make sense to anyone but us.  But it works.  For now.