Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving Stress

(Picture is of the boy in front of his "to be" bedroom window. In the background, you can see the house I grew up in.)

I am back in the Twin Cities after leaving my son in Duluth. He and his aunt drove up on Saturday with a packed pick-up truck as I followed behind in my pokey prius with the left overs. We set up in our temporary apartment in the same complex where my mother lives. After a brief argument over who got the bedroom and who got the fold out couch, we set up and got down to the business of feeling adrift and unanchored.

By Tuesday, when he started school, we had fallen into a semi comfortable routine similar to the odd couple of the play. I tend to retire to the bedroom early and he stays up until all hours conducting his electronic relationships.

His first day of school produced one grumpy teenager as everything was substandard to the school he had just left (the one that was soooooo boring just last spring). After dropping him off this morning (his second day), I headed south towards our other home where my daughter had been holding down the fort for four days trying to pack for her journey off to collage.

What I found when I arrived home was a house that looked like it had been ransacked on the lower level (teen territory), a dog who was very puzzled by all of the disruption in her schedule, and one very stressed out girl. She had amassed a pile of goods out in the garage that will accompany her to Madison that will exceed the capacity of the Audi, even if we can put the futon and bike up on the roof. I will have to take my cousin's offer of a suburban land barge and see if we can cram everything into that.

And, as if you need more, the girl informs me that she is getting sick. Oh yea. I get to spend five hours in a small enclosed space with a wildly contagious sicko after avoiding illness (well, mostly) for a long time now.

I will be glad when this is over. I have bad feelings about having to split my time and attention between the needs of both children. I feel like a bad parent for not being there for my son, but at the same time, I have to take care of things with my daughter as well. No one is to blame and no one is doing anything wrong, but the timing and the circumstances demand decisions that will short shift one child while supporting the other. The frustrations are very close to the surface and we need to be extra careful about being kind to one another. Tears are just below the surface.

Once the girl is ensconced in her dorm, I will leave and find a place to crash for the night. I don't think I can do a down and back trip of that distance in one day. I might also have the dog with me as we don't have any alternatives lined up at this time.

It will be interesting for sure. Hopefully, things will settle down a bit after this little flurry. I will still be doing the shuttle between cities and houses, but the ratio will change with me spending more time in Duluth and less down south. I am not sure what to do about the mail yet. I don't have a permanent address up north, but I don't plan on visiting the southern house more than once a week and I don't want the mail to stack up in the mailbox out by the road all week. Maybe I can get the construction crew to hang a box up on the outside of the northern house and make the official residense move to there.

Decisions, decisions, then more decisions. Who knew there were so many different kinds of toilets? Or shower controls? I am about ready to just turn it over to someone else and say "Pick out nice things - but inexpensive."



Blogger lime said...

st off i certainly hope you claimed the bedroom for yourself. dangit, the youngsters can tolerate the discomfort of a couch better than us oldsters.

not being overly fond of tremendous change and upheaval myself i can feel your frustration. hang in there. soon you'll each be settled.


7:02 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Cheesy said...

PO box kiddo..

11:14 PM, August 28, 2008  

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