So much has changed since we packed up all of our belongings and shoved them into a storage locker last June. G has a longer commute, I have a smaller closet, and G’s parents’ household has more than doubled in size. It’s been an adjustment for all of us, but no one has had to handle more changes over these past five months than Kate.
We said goodbye to the only house she has ever known, in the only city she’s ever called home. We moved her away from all of her friends to a town full of total strangers. We packed up nearly all of her toys, pulled her polka dot sheets over the futon in her Grandma and Grandpa’s office, taped a Frozen poster to the wall and said, “You’ll be sleeping here, kiddo.”
She had to join a new soccer team, attends a new place for swimming lessons, and has a new drive to school.
She’s figured out that this bank doesn’t have cookies, that playground doesn’t have a digger, and none of the grocery stores sell her favorite yogurt.
Every single place she goes she has to memorize all new names, new faces, new rules, and how to find the bathroom.
She started kindergarten.
Living with my in-laws’ has been so wonderful. It really has. It’s such a treasure for Kate to see her grandparents every single day and for the five of us to sit around the dinner table at night. She spent her summer surrounded by four doting adults, Woodson the Cat next door, a gorgeous lake in her backyard, a beach down the street, and more love than her sweet little five-year-old heart could ever comprehend.
This doesn’t change the fact that she’s been through so many changes in such a short amount of time.
And she’s handled it all so amazingly well.
Probably the best of all of us.
We know she misses Madison, but she’s never once complained about this new life we’ve chosen for her – not this temporary one while our house is being built, or the long-term one that will have her calling Cambridge her hometown.
She doesn’t get frustrated with me when she’s excited about planning a playdate with a new friend and I say, “I don’t know her parents yet so I have no way of getting ahold of them.”
She speaks up and asks questions when she’s confused or curious, and simply looks down and silently logs her brand new bit of information when the cashier says, “Oh sorry, we don’t give out stickers here.”
She’s patient and understanding when she asks to see her best friend Gwen and it takes us weeks to coordinate because we now live an hour away instead of one block away.
Life changed big time for our little girl back in June.
And now it’s November.
She has one more big change left when we move into our new house in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to watch her rediscover her old toys, jump on her bed, and explore our new neighborhood. I’m looking forward to our family settling in, claiming our spaces, finding our new normal and Kate’s new favorite yogurt.
November is here and it’s almost time to release that pause button we pressed back in June.
But for now, we play.