Desultory is my middle name.

If someone came over to our house and forced Jeff and I to prioritize the factors that are influencing our relocation, it wouldn’t take much time to come up with a list. At the same time, I’m one of those weirdos who is constantly looking for signs. (Signs from the universe. Not traffic signs. Yesterday afternoon I accidentally ran a stop sign in a burrito parking lot and a woman who could have been 104 years old flashed her middle finger at me and I got all flustered and I almost followed her to her final destination so I could apologize for being a jerk, but I didn’t want to freak her out any more than I already had in the burrito parking lot.) If signs are falling into our laps, they can’t be ignored.

Sort of a sign: Last week was Meredith’s fifth grade recognition ceremony, and 23 of you just yawned when you read “fifth grade recognition ceremony” but I can assure you that it was NOT a yawn-inducing event. It’s a talent showcase and some of these kids can SING and some of them are fearless and I sat in that cold metal chair and thought about how we’ve known some of these kids since they were three years old and now they’re running sound equipment and playing instruments and some of them look like ADULTS, which I’m assuming can be blamed on milk hormones, but I can’t blame milk hormones for everything because at some point HUMAN hormones kick in and Ack! Meredith is starting middle school next year.

This is not going to be a post about a weepy mom (me) and how they (kids) grow up too fast. I’ve seen way too many of those posts in the past week, and I lack the energy to make it work. Yes. Meredith is not two anymore. BUT, I’m glad that she’s potty trained and that she’s a good egg and that she’s finally starting to stand up for herself a bit more. All good things. I’m in for the ride.

After the fifth grade recognition ceremony (WAKE UP OUT THERE, YOU!), Harper said the following words: “I’m sad that I won’t be at this elementary school in fifth grade.” I responded with the sort of crap that you’re supposed to say to a child who is afraid of change. “WELL, just think of the friends you’ll make at the NEW SCHOOL!” Sadly, but not so sadly, Harper is smart. She knew exactly what I was doing. She wants her own room, but she wants to stay where we are. During all of the talks about moving, Harper has always been the one to express excitement about being the new kid. This is no longer the case.

Sort of a sign: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can’t swing a dead cat without thwapping a gifted kid in the head. Gifted kids are everywhere. Because I don’t like to drone on about it, I’ll just say this: 1. Both of my kids are in the gifted program at their school, and we could not be happier with the program. It’s amazing, and it continues in various forms until the kids graduate from high school. 2. I know I’m not using colons correctly in this entry. I don’t have much free time today, so I’m typing as I think and just puking it onto you without manners. (You look very pretty/handsome today.) Anyway, while researching schools in the areas where we’re thinking about relocating, none of their gifted programs have impressed us as much as the program we’re in right now.

Sort of a sign: Yesterday morning, one of the teachers at school told me that if we move, we’ll be missed. I know that’s a stock comment to say to someone who may be moving, but it was sort of a thing because I’ve never been told that I was missed or that I’ll be missed. I’m always just sort of a floater who is there or not there.

Sort of a sign: Can we talk about music for a second? Our school’s band/orchestra/choral program is a good one. A few weeks back, Meredith told me that she was asked to audition for a spot in the percussion program. In 1980, if you wanted to play the drums, you signed up for percussion. No test, no questions, you’re just in. Anyway, times have changed and yesterday we received an acceptance letter and invitation for Meredith to be part of the percussion program. Because I have always put music (and drummers) high on my list of LIKES, this was a huge thing. (We celebrated with Dairy Queen, which is never really a great choice, but it was Meredith’s choice, so there you go.)

Our realtor is coming over this weekend. I’m assuming she’s going to be bringing a Coming Soon! sign for our front yard. (So many signs!) I’m feeling so completely torn right now because we can get a lot more house for our money if we move 30 minutes west. (I’ve been consistently shocked by the size of houses we can afford out there, and the size of houses we cannot afford where we are right now.) I want our next house to be our forever house. I want to die in that house, and I want that death to occur sometime after I’m 75 years old. Honestly, Fluid Pudding is the perfect name because I’m physically unable to stand firm on anything lately. We can’t stay here because even though we’re selling this house as a three bedroom house, it’s not really a three bedroom house. (I hate that it feels slimy to call it a three bedroom house, but both realtors swear that this is what you do. I also feel weird about not disclosing the fact that the first woman who lived here either died and fell off of the roof or else she fell off of the roof and died.)

I have an hour to pack boxes before I’m volunteering at school. Someone talk some sense into me. (But please be nice because I’m also sort of oddly hormonal right now, and I don’t think anyone wants me to put on a diaper and drive across the country fueled by Funyuns and Mountain Dew Code Red just to give a mean person a piece of my soggy mind.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

26 thoughts on “Desultory is my middle name.”

  1. I moved from New York to St. Louis at the end of sophomore year of high school, having been student council president and then becoming no one from around here. It was not a perfect transition, but I now believe that any kid is resilient enough to survive it and excel.
    (Don’t go into the western county adjacent, Carol Ann!)

  2. Sister, we need to talk. Preferably in person, over a non-Oprah chai, about our gifted Merediths and the weird coincidences in their/our lives! For example, when did middle school band programs start limiting the number of new percussionists, because OUR middle school apparently does it now, too? Is that A Thing?! (For what it’s worth, I actively discouraged my Meredith from following in my saxophone-playing footsteps — and am all but shoving mallets in her hands as I nail her feet to the floor in front of a marimba.)

  3. I’m sure both girls will do great with a move… probably pretty normal to feel nervous about it!

    Not to throw a wrench in the works… but is expanding/renovating your current place an option? Like… if you decided to stay in that area, but want/need more space?

    Okay, now forget I asked that last question – you guys will do great. Moving is a pain but probably worth it!

  4. I noticed the colon usage and should probably get a life.

    That aside, I too thought of the renovation option. Stuff in storage, rent a furnished place for six months, and add on/fix up your current house?

    Moving into a huge new forever home would be my first choice, but I don’t have children. Is there a way to live on the edge of the new area closest to your current area, pay extra fees, and continue them at the same school?

    Is there a similar new area with great housing prices AND schools with excellent gifted programs?

    (NOT doubting you, just offering a suggestion:) Are there really truly no houses in your current area that would suffice in terms of size and price?

    I wish you the best!

    (Don’t read this part here: my parents pull us out of a private (religious) school in my sixth grade and sent me to a public school for three years, and I met people and did things I regret. BUT! I met people I still care about to this day, and maybe wised up a tiny bit. I wonder how my life would be had I stayed in private (religious) school from 5-18. I love myself now, so all’s well.) (Hugs.)

  5. Whatever the final solution is, it will be the right one for your family. However, a word of advice from one of those people who moved west to get more house for the money…your kids will grow up and move and you’ll wish you were closer to the action.

  6. I can offer you nothing useful, I fear, because I am perhaps the least decisive person I know with regard to decisions affecting my personal life – especially, CHANGE!!
    I thought maybe from the signs listed, that you had decided to stay.
    Then, I wondered many of the questions listed above (expand? other houses in the same school district?) but I figure you wouldn’t have a realtor coming if you hadn’t considered those options already.
    SO – I’ll just say this. Hang in there, lady! Keep writing about it – because it probably helps your mental process to get it out there, and we, your loyal readers, like hearing from you.

  7. I played the drums in HS. Percussion girls are the coolest. I don’t even know what to tell you on the house situation. I guess the same thing I keep telling myself right now? If it’s meant to be it will happen as it’s supposed to. I’ll keep you posted on how well that new mantra works out for me.

  8. We are just starting to dip our toe back into the housing market ourselves. {We like to look for sort-of signs, too. It looks like selling this house is what the sort-of signs are pointing to (at? toward? whatever.)} Tough situation. Can’t help you there.

    BUT. Your entire 2nd paragraph? The 5th grade show thing? I just experienced that last night myself. Wowza. At one point my 4 year old niece whispered to me “Aunt Jenn, is that an ADULT?” (No, sweetie, she’s actually only in 5th grade.) And I am convinced that Hope Sandoval was disguising herself as a 5th grader during one of those solos! Sheesh! Voices were incredible! And all the while I was sitting there dumbstruck that these 5th graders are on stage–alone!–working the room like a pro, while my hands were still sweating from walking through the crowd of eager parents to get to the auditorium. Bizarre.

  9. You said there are REASONS you want to move. Don’t forget your REASONS as you contemplate the future. (I say this as someone who also has REASONS, but is slowly beginning to like this house more as I donate clutter and refinish tired old bathroom vanities.)

    If the REASONS are big enough don’t let your amazing kids be an excuse for not following a gut that has served you well over the years. If the REASONS are not big enough, maybe repaint everything and call it good.

    I’m no help at all, am I? But I could refinish your bathroom vanities if you would like.

  10. When we moved to this house, our son was FURIOUS. WHY were we moving? Why couldn’t Dad just keep his job here? He didn’t want to move! We were ruining his life!!

    The day we moved in he met the boy next door, and found his BFF.

    My daughter, on the other hand, was nonchalant, but had a very difficult transition once we got here. She adjusted, but it took about a year.

    My point (and I do have one) is that you can’t predict from their attitudes about the move now how they will feel about it once it happens. If you and Jeff are sure this move is the right thing for your family, it will work out in the long run.

    Transitions are difficult. Hang in there ….

  11. Now that I am the parent of great big grown-up adult people, I can tell you that they WILL get over changing schools. They absolutely will, and it will be good. With the gifted program thingie, I firmly believe that as long as the program is adequate and mostly good and not actively bad, the stuff you do to support the girls at home is going to be way more important than the actual structure of what’s going on at school. We always did unschooling type stuff at home to supplement what was actually going on at school, and I think the kids got tremendous value out of it and it was not at all difficult or time-consuming because I’m super lazy and have a really short attention span.

    So yeah! It’s going to be okay. Have a burrito.

  12. I’m not into assvice (maybe sometimes unintentionally) but I just want to say that everything you’re feeling about moving is 100% normal (I’ve moved A LOT!) and I hope you’ll find a place of peace in in your head on it. (Not a piece of your head on it which I originally typed).

    Can I tell you that when the reality of the fact that I would have to move to Godforsaken Gurnee and leave my beloved city of chicago sank in I CRIED. And not just a little bit – I cried a LOT. And I refused to look at houses here because suburbs = wasteland to me. I could think of virtually nothing worse than being banished so far away from all that I loved. I had every suburban mom trite stereotype in my head. I wanted NOTHING to do with it. And yet here I sit. And I will now acknowledge that even though this is not what I would have chosen even in the face of Chinese water torture, it also was one of the very best things we did. I’m pretty happy. And I never would have known that.

    So here is my hope – that no matter what happens you keep blooming where you’re planted. You’re a flower. :)

  13. It’ll be FINE. Really! You and Jeff and the girls are great, and you’ll be great wherever you go!

  14. 1. You WILL be missed if/when your family moves!
    2. I will be excited to show you around your new living area, pending that it’s near me. It’s been a while since our last chai! Let me know when you want to grab another one! (maybe and iced one?)

  15. I would miss you. In fact, forever ago when this was a tag team site, I missed your particular style & wit when others posted. Change is good. And, there is a website that tells you if anyone died in your house.

    God puts us where he wants us.

  16. As a kid who went to 14 schools in 12 years, I think I’m something of an expert on that part. Do not move your children every year.

    And I wouldn’t recommend moving in the middle of Middle School because, hormones. That part of life always has just so much drama that translates to trauma. However, Meredith beginning in a new area for Middle School can be cool and exciting and something wonderful.

    As for Harper, poor girl, she doesn’t relish change. But she will survive, if that’s what’s in her future. Really. And she might find (they very often do) that all the things she feared don’t come to be and there are cool new things she couldn’t have anticipated and she is exceedingly happy about the move. If it doesn’t happen immediately, it will eventually.

    I first thought of you finding another house in the same school district. It can happen. My next idea was remodeling. Yes, it’s a big drag, but you could keep all the things everyone loves and have your better house. But it sounds to me like that’s not really what you and Jeff want, maybe even not what you need.

    So go with what seems right for you (those girls are going to grow up and move out before you know it). The happiness and well-being of your children are directly correlated with how happy and well-adjusted their parents are. Remember that and you will find the right path. You really do know what’s best.

  17. It will be ok! It will all be ok! Don’t overthink, trust your gut. Make your decisions and then see how they feel. But just one thing at a time. When you can still your mind does the decision make you smile or feel like throwing up? Hopefully not both at once. Like Ani above, I also wish you licks.

  18. HEY.
    (I know I’m late, I’ve been busy.)
    GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
    Listen, I am the queen of looking for/seeing signs.
    THE QUEEN.
    You cannot possibly see more signs than I do.
    (Maybe it comes with age.)
    But I am TELLING YOU: it’s time to move on.
    Pack, sell, move, go.

  19. Did you sell your house? I’m glad your surgery went well. Are the schools as good where you are looking to move? Happy belated birthday to everyone. I am very far behind due to my laptop getting a fatal virus and my identity being stolen. Not fraud, but actual identity theft – so fun! I moved this past summer – also not fun! But my house is bigger, so that’s nice. All the best for whatever you decide!

  20. I’m a teacher, and when I tell a parent who is moving away or has their youngest leaving us for high school that I’m going to miss them what it really means is that I really really adore the whole family and I’m heartbroken that I won’t get to see some faction every day ever again. I can only assume the teacher that said that to you meant the same thing. I an also assume that wherever you end up, someone new will feel the same way about your family.

  21. Your girls are smart, have involved parents and healthy interests. Kids in general are resilient then add all the “extras” your girls bring to the equation…this means they will thrive wherever you decide to put them (let’s just gloss over the fact that what’s considered “extra” these days is parent involvement and such). I lived it from the kids’ perspective. I am not young so this is an ancient example but my folks moved my sisters and I from a neighborhood we loved and a school that had a great and challenging gifted program to a much bigger house in the suburbs when I was in 5th grade (bigger=we 3 girls each got our own bedroom). Our family life became much more comfortable and my parents loved the new house so very much and my sisters and I liked it too. I missed my friends but we kept in touch (and still do). I made new friends and got involved in my new school and subsequently stopped asking my parents to drive me downtown to see the old friends. The move was a good choice on my parents’ part. I’d encourage you not to let sentiment dictate your decision. That said, you’ll make the right choice regardless of what you decide as there are only good choices in front of you.

  22. As an avid sign-looker (and finder!) I’d like to offer that maybe those aren’t signs, those are things that happen when you’re about to make a big change. And no matter how many times I see triple digit license plates, when things fall into place it’s usually because they’re right, and when you have to struggle to make things fit, it’s usually because they’re not. You’ll figure it out. You’ve got this.

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