We set up our brand new living room this evening, in our amazing new home that is about as perfect for our little family as we could ever hope for. Poor Hazel isn't feeling well tonight, so we created a cozy nook to curl up in all together. Eventually everyone (except me) dropped off to sleep, and the night is still and calm. I am lounging on our couch, Calliope sleeping in my arms. Cadence is dozing beside me, Lily and Carmen both spilling off of her tiny lap. Puy is curled in the fuzzy grey recliner that our new landlords gave us-it's just her color, and her delight in camouflage dictates that it is now hers. She is contentedly watching the fire while I soak in this scene; James and Hazel using my feet as pillows and the Christmas tree, which our landlords reported showed up with a bunch of elves, rounding out this little circle of coziness.
This is worth it. The relief, as one friend put it, is palpable. James' commute was halved. The kids and I were able to go out and about without the car, and the old routine of walking to our destinations made everyone giddy. They exchanged thoughts on how this was different-you can see more, so much happens when you walk, you can hear things when you walk that you'd never catch in a car. You get exercise and can breathe fresh air that doesn't smell like vents. In bad weather it can be unpleasant but even then you are at least experiencing something.
They are amazingly smart kids. And they thrive in whole body experiences. Not being strapped into car seats for every little thing. Not being strapped to a desk for every little lesson.
This is a home. A place of comfort where we can all thrive. Not a polished cage where humanity is frowned upon. Here we can heal. We can grow. We can feel safe.
And with that, the clock strikes midnight and it is my birthday. Here's to 29. Bet it'll be a helluva year.
Pat, Scott-You gave us the key to get out of the cage well before we would otherwise have been able to. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. I love you, and hope you'll be able to visit this place next time you can come out east.