Thursday, July 17, 2014

this arrival

It will be a month, tomorrow. A month since we arrived in Portland, Oregon at the end of a long drive across the country. A truly lovely—spectacular even— nineteen-day cross-country road trip. And now we've been nearly a month in our new home.

At first it was all highlights. Having a back yard, sprinklers, grass. Having a dishwasher, a kitchen that could hold more than one person, two sets of stairs, oodles of empty space: a basement, a garage. Two walk-in closets. Antique stores and a farmers market a few blocks away.

But in no time I was bone-tired. Charles headed back to New York, I had two children, long days, and no nanny. The dryer was leaving long slim burns on all our sheets and clothes. We had no wi-fi, no table at which to eat, no blinds on the windows, no routine, lots of boxes to be unpacked and lists of things to buy, and a lawn that needed to be watered and mown. I suddenly needed to sleep. I got cranky, the five-year-old got cranky; I was impatient, the five-year-old began throwing tantrums. My mom and sister appeared in shifts with paint brushes and plants and watering cans and platters of food. They took care of the kids. I learned how to sort and put out the garbage. I had phone conversations with internet people. I interviewed sitters. I watered. I despaired of finding a sitter. I bought things. I returned things. I went to IKEA four times. I made piles by the door of things to be returned (the pile is still growing). This is now.

My father and sister came over for dinner this evening, we ate pizza at our new dining room table. The kids played in their rooms. When our guests left and the kids and Charles went to sleep, and I found myself doing laundry in the basement. Ironing dresses, hemming the cuffs on my son's new taekwondo pants. Maybe I can do this, with lots help of course.

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