My body has a funny reaction to stress. You’ve heard of “fight or flight?” Well, I have “Fight/Flight or Sleep” with the latter having a weighted pull. I spent most of college sleeping. I never made it through an “All nighter.” Hell, I hardly make it through an “All Day-er.”
I find myself walking around our new house looking at things I want to fix. I walk around the empty house in circles. Living Room - Dining Room - Kitchen - Family Room - Den - Living Room - Dining Room and so on… I wander and pretend that I’m calculating the next step, the next priority, but really, I’m sleep walking in an effort to shut out the ToDo list.
And then I curl up on the floor and go to sleep oh.my.god. in the middle of the kitchen between the cabinets I want to stain and the refrigerator we need to move OH.MY.GOD.
I’m comforted by the sounds of laughter from the children digging in the dirt outside and my husband’s whistling as he measures for the brackets in the garage. It’s a lullaby to me, the sound of my head spinning with THINGS.TO.DO and the sound of my family being in our new space.
The children don’t really get it yet. They ask, “Can we come back to play here tomorrow?!” “Yes! You can come here and play EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your lives!” My five year old’s eyes bulge. “It’s true! Our stuff will be here soon! THIS is our new house!”
Then they ask again, “Can we go back tomorrow?”
Yes. We can.
I remember my dad giving me words of wisdom when my parents packed our family up in the station wagon and left sunny Houston and my 12 year old boyfriend (dude, my FIRST BOYFRIEND) and brought us all to this place with trees and wet and cold. I remember my dad telling me, as I bawled in the McDonald’s parking lot somewhere in New Mexico, that “home is where your shit is.”
Profound, my dad.
I try to explain this to Mr. Flinger when he’s perplexed at the children, “THIS is our new house!” He beams with pride. They look confused. “Are we going home now?” they ask. They want their lovies. They want their toys. They want their shit.
Saturday our shit follows us to our new house. Saturday we get the U-haul and, with a little help from some pretty awesome people who wouldn’t let us hire movers, we take our entire lives’ belongings and stuff them in to a new place.
And then, then it will be home.
And I will have a bed to curl up on and rock myself to sleep with the sound of the to.do.list.oh.my.god.
In a good way.
But for now I’ll go pack those boxes and the childrens’ closets and the rest of the kitchen and the oh.my.god… zzzzzZZZZzzzzzz