So, after I gave birth to Lila last year nothing happened. The last few days of my pregnancy and the dramatic delivery were kind of exciting, and I got a new baby, so that was good. But then the excitement died down and for a while nothing happened. At all. There was so much nothing happening, in fact, that it took over my life. There were endless days in which nothing happened except I drove Caroline to school and held the baby all day. There were days that I did nothing except respond to the plaintive cry of the American child in its native habitat. You know, it goes like this: Mommy, I’m HUNGRY!
I couldn’t have typed a blog post if my life had depended on it. I could barely manage to type out Facebook updates, and when I did they were all lowercase and unpunctuated because I was typing with one hand and holding the baby in the other. Sometimes I thought about blogging, posting something here, but there was nothing to write about. Except holding a baby and nursing and driving kids to school and the struggle to keep the laundry and dirty dishes at bay.
Don’t get me wrong. There was great joy in these moments. Getting to know Lila, watching her grow, seeing the bigger girls interact with their baby sister. We sent Caroline off to first grade not too long ago, and that was wonderful and terrifying. But there was no space around all these little things to fit myself into. There was nothing at all happening, but there was so much of this nothing going on that it left no room for any kind of something.
In the background of all this nothing, I started hearing my husband make noises about moving. He had been really, really unhappy at work for a really, really long time. He wanted a new job, and I wanted a new job for him, but we couldn’t get a bite on his resume to save our lives. Then there was the day he mentioned a job possibility in Dallas.
“As in Texas?” I asked.
“That’s the one,” he replied.
For months and months he talked about Texas. I quickly realized that he was serious. And I thought, Hm. Texas might be okay. But time passed and the thing in Dallas never materialized. So we had done all this talking about Texas and finally after a while it seemed like it wouldn’t happen.
Except, then, it did.
Not in the way we expected. Another opportunity came knocking, if I may use the cliché. Not in Dallas, but in Austin. The only drawback? The salary is low. Like, really low. The last time my husband made anything close to the teensy amount he is making right now was when he started out as a tech in the ’90’s. But this was a job that just couldn’t be turned down. It’s not about the money, it’s about the future and getting in at the beginning of something really cool and diving back into the kind of work he wants to be doing feet first. It’s a cannonball, really. Into the deep end. And we’re hoping the ensuing splash is big and wide. But the tiny salary and the length of the contract meant that he would have to go to Texas by himself. While I would take the kids and – oh help me Jesus – move in with my parents.
It all happened so fast. I think there were maybe three weeks between the day Mr. Caffeinated spoke to the recruiter for the first time and the day I was standing in my old bedroom, trying to figure out how to wedge myself, three kids, an irritating cat and a shitload of clothes and shoes into my parent’s house. I still haven’t quite managed it.
It hasn’t been all bad, living with Grammy and Papa. I miss my husband terribly, but it’s nice to have some help with the kids. I just wish my mom had kept my old Duran Duran posters. It would make me feel so much better every morning when I wake up in a double bed with three kids stuck to me at odd angles and a cat asleep on my head to look over and see John Taylor gazing deep into my sleep matted eyes. He’s still hungry like the wolf. Or maybe I’m hungry like the wolf. Whatever. Nevermind.
The point is, something is happening now. We are having a different sort of life suddenly and the nothing has given way. It’s like a scene right out of The Neverending Story, but without the giant flying dog. Also, it’s late and clearly I have stopped making sense. In addition, my whole theme of nothing versus something has fallen apart here at the end. I think it’s okay, though. This messy life, this messy blog. It’s mine, all of it. My something.
See? I made it work. And I’m happy to be back here, with you.