Family Too Long For Twitter

Our New Nest, A Year Later

Yesterday was exactly one year from when I announced our move into our “new nest” which ended up being called The Seuss, for silly reasons.

I was too exhausted from fighting a very persistent migraine to write an update, as we are now watching our oldest son, his wife, and their son pack their belongings to move out of state. It’s been a chaotic yet wondrous year, and I’d like to retain my thoughts today, just a few days before they hit the road.

We moved in with much chaos and many hidden fees. This isn’t terribly surprising in hindsight, since I’m not as smart as I used to be, at running households. Our life was so simple previously, I’d forgotten all that goes into the expenses of moving to another state, and Chooch was too busy working, commuting and moving things in prep for our move.

Little Bear arrived in early April instead of late March. He was the light at the end of a dark tunnel for so long that now he is simply the brightest star in a bright sky. He’s super cute, very clever, as strong as he is heavy, and is always looking for a reason to smile and laugh. In short, he’s my dream grandbaby.

My gratitude for being with them during this special time has not only grown, but it’s far more far-reaching than expected, after being able to include dear friends into our family experience. Having all those infinitely helpful and kind friends was very comforting at a time when nerves were exposed and raw and different medications were being tried out for pain relief.

Although we knew this was going to happen, I find myself surprised that it’s actually happening now. Already. I’ve taken thousands of pictures and hours of video to see me through missing them, tho and I’m hopeful that the kids will send pix so I don’t have to launch a drone near their place.

But in all honesty, I’m reaching the end of my usefulness in assisting in caring for my grandson. With the chronic pain health blahs, there are frequently days that I can’t even get out of my room to see him, let alone be of a help to his parents. It’s heightened my sense of failure. Who can’t pick up their grandson, at six months, for Glob’s sake?!

Me. That’s who. And I’ve known it was going to spike when he hit six months, since 2 weeks after his birth. We were out with friends Billy Flynn, the Flynnstress and their six-month old daughter MJ. She’s lively and clever and active and quick to laugh and smile. I was shocked to find that I was barely able to hold on to her and gave her back way sooner than I wanted. Shortly after that the kids nailed down their plans to move, and what was a heartbreaking and very deep blow due to their upcoming distance, well, later it strangely made it easier for me to process the kids leaving.

Little Bear weighs 18.6 pounds right now, which means it should be no surprise that I frequently can’t lift him. And when I can, it’s grown briefer and briefer as he’s thrived and grown. I’m “disabled” so that’s expected. Except that he’s my grandson, so I pick him up when I shouldn’t and sometimes have to call for an assist. That’s never a problem because I made a rule at the start not to leave me home alone with him. Between pain and medications that turn me into a zombie to allow me to get in motion to help, it’s just not safe. Even after six months, I’ve only carried him on the stairs once or twice. I made these rules with great sadness and shame, even though it’s not my poor choice but rather, my debilities, but it is for his safety and I do have a lot of trouble with stairs.

When the kids move, they will have multiple families nearby. They will have the kind of help that we can’t give them very often, boots on the ground, in the trenches, help. Naughty Bear’s injury and recovery continues to plague him and will for quite a while. He’s being smart and heeding the caution of doctors, and that’s all a mom can ask. They both have jobs waiting for them and our Galadriel (our son’s wife) will have health insurance again, finally.

Gal’s parents and sister will be nearby, in addition to Naughty Bear’s family in the area. Having been her age when I had my first child, I know how important those bonds are, especially with your mom, and I’m so glad they have been able to push through an unbelievable number of challenges to get back to her home state. Her home sickness has been great and she just needs time with her family, and Little Bear gets to meet them all, finally! Only Gal’s mom was able to visit for his birth, and they excitedly await his arrival. Knowing how great LB’s other grandma is makes it way easier to let them drive away, too!

We hope to visit them next spring, possibly around SXSW time. I have a friend or two I hope to visit while we’re there, since I lived in Texas from ages 3 to 18. That’s if I can let go of Little Bear while we’re visiting. 😉

All of these things mean that it’s the right time for me for them to move, too. My frustration grows, as does recovery time when I’m stubborn. It’s time for the circle around them grow larger in their very own nest.

Chooch and I will stay at The Seuss for another 8 months, at least. We did such a good job on our house hunt last fall, we aren’t finding anything worth going through the effort and expense of a move for, especially heading into winter again.  It’s an especially bubbly-making decision, since our specifically non-specific house hunt landed us within 5 to 30 minutes from most of our dear friends when it used to be an hour or longer. The accidental blessing of location was purposefully again left out of the calculation, but much happiness was felt when we saw it’s the logical decision.

As for our former housemates, we haven’t done the baking and we’ve gotten the Wee Housies together with our grandson less than I’d hoped before they move, but the love remains. Seeing them healthy and thriving is almost as awesome from a distance, although we still need to do a baking party. They did make me promise, last month and I can’t wait to make it so!

Jen is doing great in her new life, and without our chaos in the basement. Sadly, she now has a new struggle, by way of a tragic downturn in her father, aka Elder Housie’s health. He now requires constant assistance and help, and being such a fiercely determined, up and at ’em type of man, it’s a pretty tough blow for him and his daughter. And it saddens me knowing that even if we were nearby, my help would be as limited as the help I give to the Little Bear. It’s another source of frustration, not being able to do things for loved ones, no matter how badly I want to, and I do love that man so very much.

As for being out of Virginia, it was definitely the right decision, even with the unexpected costs. It’s made the last year far more exciting, and being off those old roads ended up with us bonding more than we might have. So I find myself with the knowledge that Chooch and I made the right move for ourselves, a duo, and not just for our family. We’ve been tackling a lot of gnarly issues recently, and we’re only growing stronger and even have a plan to get us out of debt, hopefully. This is a huge thing for us, since my inability to work has had us in dire straits for almost 6 years.

So, with all these things in mind, I choose to end this post the way I ended that one, because I feel closer and more bonded with my husband now more than ever, I can easily again say to the future: Bring it on. We smiled and laughed and held each other at every turn, snatching up silver linings as fast as we could and plan on continuing!

Me, Chooch and Little Bear at 5 1/2 months, 09/2015.
Full Contact Grandparenting


Naughty and Little Bears
Naughty and Little Bears
Kaylee the Stalker
Kaylee the Bear Stalker
Day at the National Zoo!
He’s the MOST fun to play with, even when I can’t pick him up. Rawr!


Be well!