Greetings from Charles County, Maryland! As I mentioned a few blog posts ago, my husband and I recently decided to move in an effort to provide our son (and ourselves) with a safer, friendlier community. We chose a location about thirty minutes south of our previous home, and already we feel so much more comfortable. After a very hectic weekend of packing, moving, and unpacking, our lives have begun to settle down, and we have taken up our familiar routine once again.
We sometimes find ourselves wondering if John is even aware of the fact that we are living in a different apartment- if he is, he has shown no sign of it. If anything, he seems happier during the day and has been taking longer naps again (for now). From his point of view, I don’t think much has changed. Sure, the entire living room set is facing a different direction and his crib is against a different wall in his room, but other than that, very little else has changed. His toys are still in their familiar bin, his books are still scattered on the floor in front of his bookcase, and the bathroom is still off limits. I don’t think he appreciates our significantly larger kitchen (unless he’s noticed that he has more room to push around his trucks and cars) or the second bathroom attached to the master bedroom (unless he’s noticed that there’s another room that’s off-limits now). If anything, he might lament the fact that our second-floor balcony faces woods and a playground (that he can’t see from his height) instead of the parking lot and dumpsters. He’ll probably miss seeing the garbage men remove our trash and recycling every few days. I imagine he’ll miss it until he forgets about it entirely.
My husband and I, on the other hand, could not be more aware of the many changes that are so readily apparent to us. Instead of blaring music, screaming neighbors, and barking dogs, we can hear crickets and birds chirping, and occasionally children playing just behind our building. I no longer feel nervous walking from my car late at night, hoping that the arguing men blocking my path will not turn their attention to me as I try to sneak past. I finally feel like I can relax while John naps in his room, rather than praying that the next slammed door, heated argument, or frantically barking dog will not wake him up. John and I can really enjoy our daily walks- we no longer have to avoid constant construction and the taunts of children, but can stroll down walking paths where we are greeted by fellow walkers and joggers (something that we did encounter before we moved, albeit not as often). We are all so much more relaxed, despite the fact that there are half-unpacked boxes and multiple unfinished projects everywhere.
Moving with a toddler was definitely a challenge, though John largely seemed to enjoy the experience. In the process of packing, we were constantly checking to make sure that John’s toys (or John himself) were not hiding in the crevices of half-packed boxes. John thought our moving supplies were his new playground, and he spent hours climbing in and out of boxes, as well as helping us to “pack” his toys in whatever box was closest to him at the time. Of course, he was just as likely to unpack a box as to help pack it, but in the end, we got it done. John treated the whole process like a game, and he happily followed me from room to room as I packed boxes throughout the week leading up to our move. There was no pressure yet, so his antics were mostly charming.
By Friday night, we could feel the clock ticking, time counting down, so with John asleep for the night, we finished most of the packing, and John spent most of Saturday morning playing by our friends’ apartment or else hiding in the kitchen from the moving men. Apparently, he’s terrified of packing tape, and the only place where he felt safe was the kitchen. Once the movers were gone, John took a final few laps around the apartment, apparently thrilled by his newfound sense of freedom, and within the hour we were on our way to our new home.
Three days later, and we’re mostly unpacked. We’ve filled all of our new cabinets with food and kitchen items, and our guest bathroom is now fully equipped with a shower curtain, soap dispenser, and toilet paper. We’re still in the process of unpacking books, and most our wall decorations are still packed away. Currently, we have a working washer, dryer, and refrigerator, but we are without a dishwasher or an oven. We’ve gotten very creative with our meal planning, and for the time being, we are getting ourselves reacquainted with hand-washing all of our dishes. But these are all just minor details in the grand scheme of things. Our bookcases will soon be filled, and our walls decorated with photos and artwork. In time, our appliances will all be either fixed or replaced. These are all just temporary inconveniences, and when they’re all resolved, we’ll be left enjoying our time as Charles County residents!
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!