I keep opening the wrong drawers.
I have checklists for my realtor, for the mortgage broker, for what needs to be packed for storage and what needs to be packed for the immediate future, and I think I have everything together — except I can’t find my underwear. My dresser has been organized in the same way for almost eight years, and while I like to pretend I welcome change, I just never remember that I’ve moved almost everything from my drawers into a single drawer to last for the next few days.
Our family is in the middle right now. Our house is sold, and I guess I can’t even call it our house anymore. It’s definitely not our home anymore, belongings taped into boxes and piled in corners waiting to huddle together in storage. Our hopefully-next house isn’t yet fully purchased, and we won’t realistically move in until sometime towards the end of August. My parents have graciously offered to save us from homeless status for the next month or so, but we’re still bouncing in the space between homes.
We’re in limbo.
I’d love to associate limbo with the catchy “limbo limbo limbo” game, gracefully arching below a bamboo pole, but truthfully every time I’ve tried to limbo I bump into the pole, stumble forward and trip to the side while people bend lower and lower towards the ground. I feel that clumsiness now — falling behind with my running schedule, missing personal deadlines, forgetting to send e-mails because I’ve jotted them onto a piece of paper instead of climbing over a box to find my trusted planner.
My head is so grateful to be in this place: Our house sold! We found a new house!
A year ago I wouldn’t have believed those joint statements would possibly be uttered for at least a few more years. But in the quiet moments, my stomach roils at the millions of changes that go into a move.
New pediatricians. New grocery stores. New parks to learn, so that I know exactly how far I can wander before my three-year old decides to hurtle himself to a fireman’s pole he may or may not successfully maneuver.
I hide the greater part of my fears to allay the ones I see in my five-year old’s eyes. I temper the tears that fall, teetering between letting her know it’s absolutely-positively-100% normal to be excited and sad at the same time and scaring her with my own uncertainty. I press my face into her hair and pull back to look in her eyes like the big girl she is.
We talk about the things that we’ll miss and the exciting things that await us as we move forward. We talk about how home isn’t our walls but the people within them. My words aren’t just for her heart but for mine as well.
We’re in limbo, but we’re learning to bend beneath that bamboo pole together.