I have obviously invented moving with children. At least, that is how I acted. While it was an onerous process that lasted over a year, the reality is that I sold my home in the worst real estate market in decades, without losing money, and managed to purchase my dream home in a fantastic location for an excellent price through the services of the best real estate agent ever. Overall, I have nothing to complain about.
However, that didn’t stop me from whining about it from start to finish. I have friends who moved while pregnant, who moved across state lines while pregnant AND starting new jobs, and who moved across state line while pregnant AND whose husband’s new job required his overseas deployment to a hot, sandy place. While my husband did change jobs (twice!) during the year, both were at his own choice. Sure, it added to the stress of life, but what doesn’t?
But I bitched, and I moaned, and then I bitched and moaned so more, and then, during the last two weeks, I bored people to tears with the intricacies of environmental law. (Did I mention my dream home came with its own 10-ton pile of contaminated dirt?) I practically put out hourly reports on the status of my packing and unpacking, and acted, as a whole, as if my real estate transaction was of monumental significance to many instead of just significant to me. In short, I was a right ass.
Thankfully, I have a legion of wonderful friends who never complained about my admittedly self-centered behavior. They allowed me to vent. They offered advice, opinions, and options. They cared for and fed my children when I needed time to get stuff done. They acted as lawyers, counselors, design experts, and handy men. They put a beer in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other when the stress of selling/buying was done but the stress of moving/unpacking had yet to begin. They sent encouraging texts, e-mails, and FB posts. They got my kids from point A to point B when I wasn’t able to ferry them myself. They brought donuts. They brought cards. They literally plucked my crying son out of my arms and brought him into his classroom. They brought history books on my new neighborhood. My husband affectionately refers to this group of people as the Gaggle. If it weren’t for the Gaggle, I never would have survived the past year. In fact, without the Gaggle, I wouldn't have survived the past five years. I love the Gaggle
Without family, I wouldn’t have survived move-in weekend. Seeing all of your stuff in boxes, piled high, room after room is both exhilarating and overwhelming. Where the hell does it all go? And how the hell do I put it away without tripping over a kid? Eldest BIL and SIL to the rescue! They took the kids out in style, spoiling them rotten and giving them a day of fun to remember. Youngest BIL and SIL did just as much heavy lifting by literally doing the heavy lifting. Forty boxes of books, six crates of Christmas decorations and several boxes simply marked “misc. attic” were all hauled in during a day of high humidity. Plus, as an added bonus I got to give hours of unsolicited advice to my pregnant SIL. A captive audience! Fun!
So, what have I learned during the last year of my life? First off, that I am incredibly lucky. I didn’t grow up in this area. I only moved here eight years ago, knowing no one and nothing. But now, less than a decade later, I am rich with friends. I have The Gaggle, many of them strangers I met at library story time, whom I could now call in the middle of the night in an emergency. I have people who have helped me in innumerable ways for no reason other than they wanted to help. They weren’t looking for thanks. They weren’t looking for anything other than a way to help a friend. And to all of you, I say thank you. Sincerely and utterly, thank you.
I will now never utter the words real estate, closing, or moving ever, ever gain. You’re welcome. ;)