I have a mental image of my kids our first few days in our new place: I walk through the kitchen or the laundry room and my kids are cutting things with knives and twisting baling wire and firing up blowtorches. I mean they love it here. And why not? I sure did, growing up – and so did many of my friends. There is an endless amount of “junk drawers” and art supplies – so many art supplies – as well as two other adults, my mom and the tenant Jasmine, in their living quarters upstairs, where my children (who are instructed to call first) vanish to draw or read or play or, as in the case with Nels a few days ago, help houseclean. Outside the children tumble about in a huge yard full of overgrown flowers and vegetables and wooden fences and little yard statuary stuff and a koi pond and, as it happens, a construction crew out back tearing apart the deck and making it into a greenhouse. The cats are similarly enthralled, finding new places to stalk and new hidey-holes to sleep in and an endless supply of kitchen scraps and soft piles of clean towels to lie on (until Sophie, employing some Cat Psychology she’s learned from the library books she’s been checking out, covered our towels with a large piece of aluminum foil).
This large house went from two inhabitants to six; add Jasmine and my mother’s boyfriends, and there are a lot of people coming and going. I cook and clean during the day and try to get back into the swing of sewing. Sophie is learning to run errands around the neighborhood. It is her responsibility to pick up the mail from our Post Office box and to take my mother’s dog for walks. Yesterday she took her first solo trip to the bike shop. Being on the west side of Hoquiam allows for a lot more neighborhood exploration and errands for my children; we also have a deli, a hardware store, the library, a handful of thrift stores, and a drug store within very close range.
We’re still sorting our last bit of moving (the landlords of the previous place called and requested a move-up of our last day from next Monday to tomorrow). It’s hard to know what “normal life” will look like when Ralph can come home from work and get back to what he wants to do, and I won’t have such long days in the house. Ralph and I are faring well but the kids are doing fabulously. I managed to forget for days and days that sometimes kids don’t like to move. I’m not sure if it’s that we have been moving to more and more interesting digs or if my kids are just getting more and more empowered to mess about in exciting kidlet ways; my sense is it’s both.
Photo courtesy of Kahuku Photography.