For some reason our kids love adventures!
Not me, I am always content to stay in the same routine day in – day out. I like my comfortable life… Maybe that is why God gave me the gift of two fabulous highly energized daughters to motivate me to experience new escapades in ways I would never initiate on my own.
Our latest adventure, though, was not one on their terms… the adults in this family (Mom & Dad) decided to downsize and ‘lighten the load’ with a relocation. Okay, maybe ‘relocation’ is not the adequate term since we only moved several miles down the street. But, when children are involved it is dramatic regardless of the distance. With this new adventure came the adjustment to a new house, neighborhood, and lifestyle that will hopefully bring more opportunities for all of us.
However, I encountered the first hurdle in the weeks prior to the move as I started packing. I started with items that were not being used daily as not to disrupt the flow of life, but it wasn’t long before the boxes started to accumulate and went noticed by all. I filtered them into the garage to reduce clutter and the never-ending question, “How many days until we move?”
Next, I went to work on the toys, books, and belongings that we could live without for the next few weeks. That was when Sahara noticed a stuffed animal (that I am sure she hadn’t seen within the last 6 months) packed away in a banana box next to her bike… then sure enough I began to take notice that belongings were trickling back into the house.
Try explaining to a child with developmental delays that she is moving to a new house. All she could grasp was that the last time Mommy packed stuff into the garage, strangers came over and started taking her stuff away after they handed Mommy that green paper. Certainly, she convinced herself she had to rescue all she could.
This initiated daily car rides past the new house. This did seem to help, but I am sure she still had no clue why her comfortable life was being disrupted. Emily, on the other hand, started drawing diagrams and making lists. This is her way of taking control of a situation that she otherwise has no control over. This has been and will remain an effective coping skill for her. On the move in day, she met the new neighbor girl and was put at ease knowing she had a new adventure awaiting her.
All in all, the two days of transplanting our lives went smoothly. We did have one meltdown the second morning when my husband’s buddies arrived… stress was permeating the air!! I instantaneously noticed the signs and ran inside to get ‘the brush’. As soon as Sahara saw the tiny white brush she stopped and held out her arm. As I started stroking the bristles down her arm you could see her intensity melt away… this has become a great little sensory tool. (More on that later this week)
It is now Tuesday morning and we are still mostly living out of boxes… except the kitchen, which was my high priority. The computers are up and running now, too, after a long five day vacation (which was my husband’s high priority)… but, as I sit here composing I realize how much I missed the technology world of communication and necessities like banking; I even missed my virtual friends on Twitter.
I realize that as I orchestrate life around autism and motherhood, I sometimes live in a vacuum. Friends you had before the diagnosis have drifted away and friends that survived this bump in your road are far and few between…. So I am grateful to connect with other parents on a parallel journey.
As for the kids, all is calm in their world. And living out of boxes is just another adventure for them! This morning we arranged Emily’s new bedroom and frankly, if I was ten, this room would rock my world. However, as we finished the final touches Emily declared as she giggled, “Okay, I am ready for our new adventure… when are we moving again?”
What type of moving adventures have you had?