Every new stage brings anxiety; every move a questioning of the path. Where will this take us? What pitfalls lie down this way? Is this the right decision? My heart pounds, my breath catches, my muscles ache.
Our current living situation isn't working out. We are forty-five minutes apart. The children constantly wonder which house they'll sleep in tonight, even when we stick to a schedule, even when we tell them what will be happening. They mourn the absence of their belongings that are elsewhere, the security of their own space. He Who Was has what amounts to PTSD about his children living in Detroit, the scars of his own tormented experience when he was a child growing up in a neighborhood taken hostage by gangs and drugs.
We found an apartment complex a mile and a half down the road from our house, a well-kept place with tidy lawns and clean pool and uncracked tennis courts and a playground nestled at the center. They are running a special, one-bedroom apartments for $399. We ran the numbers, and if we tighten our belts, we can afford the extra expense. We applied; we were accepted. Next month we will begin a new phase in our journey.
The children will stay at the house: no more travelling back and forth. He Who Was and I will be the ones to travel, albeit only the mile and a half between. We'll be able to do occasional spontaneous visits or activities with the children, no longer figuring in a lengthy commute. We can be backup for each other in emergency. We can each take one child for special time one-on-one. I will no longer have to fill my gas tank twice a week and need oil changes after a mere month. These are good things.
We will no longer have our own spaces, our safety zones. I will no longer have my brother close at hand for backup or venting or just hanging out. I will leave the comfort of the beautiful space my parents have created in exchange for an apartment with blank walls and beige carpets, and a house haunted by memories of a shattered life.
There is gain; there is loss. There is uncertainty. This seems the best option for the time being, but it is not perfect. Nothing can be perfect. Nothing can be sure.
So my heart races, my lungs labor, my muscles clench. And I grit my teeth and step forward into yet another day.
3 years ago