A Big Move

I've recently completed a big move.  From one big, big city to a smaller, more comfortable one.  On one end, we had to deal with shady customer service people and the frustration of packing 5 years into the wrong sized truck and on the other, mixed feelings of whew and we can see people in minutes versus after an hour long public transportation ride and did we do the right thing for our son.  I'm not sure my husband shares this latter sentiment, I know he is all around grateful to be out of the big city. But I wonder, since our 11 mos old was consistently engaged by the sights and sounds of the streets, by the people who knew him on our block and in particular by all the different sized kids that joyfully crowded the playground, will this shady-sidewalk-everyone- in- their- cars- not- on- public- transportation-play- in- the- backyard- where- are- the- parks type town be enough for this social butterfly?  Will he continue to excel at human interaction or if I put him in a daycare where he isn't under my watchful eye, can I guarantee that he will come out still loving and playful or will some kid give him a black eye and he will forever by cynical, critical and generally a sourpuss? 

But I digress.  This isn't what I wanted to focus on for my first Alexander Technique blog.  I actually wanted to focus on the move itself.  It was truly a day to come up and back from.  The morning started out simple and straight forward enough with a continuation of packing but as other people started being involved it quickly went south.  But now, I realize, I don't want to write about that.  It's in the past.  It makes me make a face.  And yet, one of the reasons I had thought to write about it is because the icky feelings of that day are indeed still with me, as exemplified in said face.  So, how to come up and back from a black tar stuck inside my chest which are my leftover feelings from that day. 

Well first of all, I reflect on my ability to come up and back in the moment.  I was terrible at it.  There was a very long moment of just going up and down the steps with one or two items mumbling under my breath, "we're not going to make it, we're not going to fit everything in, what do we do if we can't fit everything in?!"  I was freaking out, I was on the verge of breaking down.  I was in a state of freeze.  But I couldn't quite freeze and abandon my husband, I had to keep moving for his sake, for our sake.  So I did as little as I could.  I tidied.  I moved small things.  And I kept asking him, my parents, what do we do?  My husband wasn't in any better shape than me.  He just kept hauling things down because that's all he knew to do.  My mom kept offering advice which I listened to and appreciated but couldn't abide.  We had to get out of town that day.  And we had to do it in this truck.  And we had to take everything with us.  Well that just wasn't going to happen.

What happened is this.  Like I said, the morning started out fine.  We were on point to pick up the 16 foot moving truck at noon.  My husband's cousin was coming with us to watch the baby.  We get to the rental office and…our truck wasn't there.  Now this isn't a big lot with multiple trucks you might find in some other city, this was a little office in a trailer in a driveway of a restaurant.  So apparently, if you rented a truck, you had to hope that the person who is using it before you, shows up with it because that's all there was.  Almost.  There was another truck there but it was a 12 footer and had been stolen so there was a hold on it with the police.  Long story short, the hold got taken off and that's the truck we rented.  Terrible idea.  You get a sense of how the day went from above.

We had a rough time as it was in this city we were leaving and this was just a last middle finger in the face, if you will.  The sad thing is, I had been beginning to get sentimental about leaving.  You know how an end is imminent, things sometimes get shinier and prettier.  The colors got brighter and the lines were more defined.  There were friends I was going to miss, a career I was leaving, and the pulse of the city beating inside my son.  On this moving day, all of that was ripped away.  But as I reflect, if I'm honest with myself, I might have needed that.  As I mentioned earlier, my biggest question mark about moving was in regards to my son.  He doesn't know that he was missing wide, open spaces or that mama and papa were struggling because they didn't have them.  He doesn't know the difference in cost of living from the big city to the smaller one.  He only knows that when we walk down this sidewalk there are people and dogs to see and smile at and when we walk down this one it leads to the park where there are so many kids and swings and a jungle gym and sprinklers, and when we go down these steps it takes us to the train where there are more people to smile and wave at.  I did have a career starting to take place, we could have made it work.  As it was, we were both so busy prior to moving we weren't able to set anything up in the new city before getting there.  Was I doing my son, my family a disservice? 

And then moving day happened.  And throughout that difficult time I knew at the end of it we were going to be on the road getting out.  And that's all I wanted.  So maybe I did need that FU. 

We didn't get everything in.  We had to leave some wonderful, emotionally valuable pieces behind.  In the end I had to come up and back from these things and let them go.  (I don't know that I really allowed myself to come up and back or if I was just so exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally that that's all that was left….yeah, that's more like what was happening.)  A friend took my husband's bike, and his cousin took his poker table and our drying racks.  These made the separations less painful.  Our downstairs neighbor offered to keep some of the things in the basement of her restaurant.  And said if we ever come back, we can come get them, they'd be waiting.  But she's a suspected heroin addict/meth head so who knows if they won't really be sold to support her habits. 

Then we got in the various vehicles and we left town.  Drove a few hours out of the city just to get outand stayed at a hotel.  And really, as we left, I believed there was a phantom finger waving us goodbye.

And guess what?  My son is fine.  He gets to see grandparents and cousins all the time.  Here in this new city they have affordable day care and early learning programs.  He will have tons of interaction.  Here his parents have space and support.  And here I have been able to take the time to blog, to write about my moving situation which has allowed me to come up and back from it and see the bigger picture.  It has been about my son, my family: all of my family including friends that have stayed committed even while we were away.  They are excited to get to know my son, my husband, and the new me.  I've already introduced the Alexander Technique to several new people who are excited to learn more.  So maybe a private practice here won't be so long in building, maybe introducing group classes to groups of mothers with kids won't be out of the realm of possibility and maybe, just maybe my kid will love me all the more for giving him space.  

-Eli