It all started when we realized we needed to move -- not enough income for private school, the school system at our old house was pretty broken past elementary, and frankly our house was starting to feel a little small. So deciding where to go, fixing up the house, selling the house, moving to a new house, making that house feel like "home" -- all for our little bits to get the best we could manage, it really did take 3 years of conscious effort.
To say that I felt a bit elated/let down by the whole thing is a little more understandable when you think of it in that context. You know, the end of that epic novel that you have slogged through only to find the ending kind of... "and then they lived happily ever after!" Yeah, it was like that.
Clara has an awesome teacher, we are absolutely thrilled with the school, we have met AMAZING friends and kids and I personally feel more connected to the community than I ever have... but we still have to get up early every morning and put on pants and get Clara to school. So it's all been awesome and yet utterly mundane. That's basically my life there, right there, awesome and utterly mundane.
Zoë also started going to preschool two days a week which has been equally all of those things. We found a great school through a good friend and she is just blossoming as only Zoë could - full of glitter, twirls, and purple. Seriously, she's a traditionalist right now (So was I and I ended up sardonic and wearing mostly black so there is definitely hope the princess/purple thing is a phase...) Her school has a music and art focus which is just perfect for her. She's started ballet lessons, really, all is as it should be.
(Wow, does my lawn look green and my kids look small. Trust me, the girls have both grown approximately 2 inches - more recent pictures soon...)
Just as I was starting to get my groove in terms of school/work/etc, my grandpa died. It came as no great shock that he died (he was old like the trees), but for reasons I feel more comfortable talking to you about in person, the trip to Kentucky for his funeral was extremely disorienting for me. After not yet having the time to deal with the loss of my dear kitty and then to lose another person so dear to my heart, it was rough. It was my first extended time away from my kids, and let's be fair, Josh and I are a matched set, we really would rather spend our time together rather than apart. To not have them with me during such a painful time was, well, awful. There were good parts to seeing my extended family again, but it was hard to see the goodness through all the grief.
And then, just four weeks later my aunt died. yeah. That wasn't entirely unexpected either, as she had been struggling with cancer for 5 years, but it was still a shock. She was dear to me, and dear to a lot of people, and to have two big losses in such a short time has been hell for my family. I mean, absolute hell. My poor Grandmother to lose her husband (of 5 million years) and her daughter in such a short time. I just. seriously. and why, WHY? is it always right before christmas?
I didn't go to her funeral. It felt like being rescued after nearly drowning and then having someone ask me to go back into the ocean. I am not too proud to tell you that I was not strong enough to do it again. I was pretty broken, and another trip into that foreign land of familiar/not familiar would have pushed me over an edge that I didn't need to go over.
And then christmas, there was this ice storm in Maine and we were all without power for days, it starts to sound kind of comic at this point. Seriously, when losing power and hopping around houses to the one with power/flushing toilets/not tree limbs falling all the while trying to celebrate Chrannukah only warrants one sentence in the blog you know, YOU KNOW, that my life started to feel like some sort of horrid Ad Libs page gone wrong, not real life. It was just too much.
It really wasn't until I wrote my last post about Monkey that I started to feel like myself again. I mean, really like myself, not some vague outline of myself, and not just fleeting moments, but for long stretches -- even days at a time. Getting out some of that grief by just "saying" the words aloud was really helpful. With the quiet of winter and the madness of the holidays past, February was honestly kind of good. Now that the sun is coming back I have actually felt pretty happy. I'm really looking forward to not doing a major construction project in the house (which is not to say that we aren't having work done, I'm just not doing it this time) I'm really excited about our garden, and summer break spending time with the girls, and everything that spring and summer brings.
So what kept me going? (outside of Josh, box wine, my adorable girls, the practical considerations of keeping a family running, and friends -- not in that order, obviously, wine comes first...) Um. I knit. Actually, I knit an enormous amount, even for me. I was trying to write a list of the things that I've made since Monkey died... and I don't know if I can actually remember everything. It boggles my mind how much I've knit. So next up, is the parade of knits. I'm hoping to go chronologically, but we'll have to see if my models are willing, otherwise, I may just have to photograph the piles and piles of knitwear and you can use your imagination...