We put all our furniture and nearly all of our worldly possessions in storage. We handed our keys back to our landlord and set up mail forwarding to our new digs.
And now we’re getting adjusted to living in a new place. We’re living with my parents, which means I have help with laundry, cooking, and childcare. My parents have been welcoming and given us a lot of space to take over move into their house. It’s a pretty sweet setup.
But a new space is hard, nonetheless.
My friend Abi recently wrote about how a new house changes your family completely. That’s true for this move, too. I miss the rhythm and play we used to have, last week.
But that’s crumbs compared to the real challenge: Moving is hard on kids. Ours are no exception. They are sad about leaving our house. They’re anxious about all the change.
I’d like them not to be anxious. I’d like to make the grieving go away. I ache that I’ve made their lives more unstable, even for a good cause. Knowing that this not-rightness is probably going to persist for a while (like it did when we moved last time, or when we had a new baby) is disheartening.
But grief and sadness and not-rightness is part of life. I want my kids to know that they are resilient enough to face it all. I want us all to learn that we can have fun and grow even in the face of adversity. I want difficulty to knit our family together.
It’s not all mourning and gnashing of teeth. I was surprised at how quickly they started playing in the new house, taking full advantage of more outside space, new toys and narratives to create play. I see their resilience, even as I’m grieving with them.
I’m also thankful that the move out of our house is already done with, giving me more patience and resources for them when our really big move comes. We don’t have much to pack anymore. We don’t have to manage a house. We just have to put our few possessions into suitcases and board a plane.
In other news, we put a deposit on an apartment in Buenos Aires.
Have you ever watched House Hunters International? Where a couple looks at three different houses in their ostensible budget, then picks the most expensive one while you shake your heads, saying “Everyone always picks the most expensive one.”
Yes, that was us.
The apartment is on the top side of our budget. It’s also bigger than I was planning—1600 square feet (I’d imagined a snug space that would simplify our lifestyle a bit more).
But it’s the only one we all liked. It’s walking distance to a train station and to multiple parks, like this one:
Barrancas de Belgrano by Veronica Vera via Flickr under a Creative Commons license
The apartment has three bedrooms, which gives us enough space for an office or a playroom, and allows us to host my parents for a visit.
It’s lovely and filled with light, and in a great neighborhood. There’s a library nearby, lots of shopping, and access to a ton of public transportation.
Here’s La Redonda church, around the corner from the park.
La Redonda by Paula Soler-Moya via Flickr under a Creative Commons license
Belgrano houses Buenos Aires’ Chinatown, which somehow I never explored while I was there.
Dragon Head by SebKe via Flickr under a Creative Commons license
It’s bustling, like all of Capital Federal, but Belgrano is also full of trees and cobblestone streets.
Adoquinado by Patricio Irisarri via Flickr under a Creative Commons license
Knowing that major part of our trip is settled helps all this change seem a bit more manageable. Being able to visualize our neighborhood—it’s about a mile from where I lived last time—is making me more excited to share it with my kids.
I keep looking at the calendar and gulping. Our big adventure is rapidly approaching. Our whole family is bracing ourselves for the impact. We’re going to hold hands—and jump.