This week, my sweet dad has been driving over an hour to my house every morning in order to stay with Bean during the day so that Chris and I don’t have to miss work to stay home with him. My mom came down today, too, and so Bean had twice the fun with Nana AND Granddad. And they’ve nursed him back to health. He is a little cranky, but I think mostly that’s from being cooped up in the house for five days straight. He hasn’t been running a fever and his chest is sounding much better, thanks to his nifty nebulizer. He’ll probably still have a cough for a long time, but at least he’s feeling better and seems to be on the up and up. We’re trying daycare tomorrow for the first time all week and I think Bean is really excited. He kept saying, “Shhhoooool! Shhhooool!” (School, School) over and over again.
This afternoon as I was on my way home from work, the weather was gorgeous. It was warm and sunny and there were a few beautiful, puffy, white clouds in the bright blue sky. One of my favorite songs came on the radio and so I rolled my windows down and sang at the top of my lungs.
And then it hit me.
I wasn’t happy because of the sunshine or the song on the radio. I wasn’t even happy because Bean was feeling better. For the first time since we moved to Florida, I was happy because I was here. Because my sick son was home with his grandparents. Because three nights this week I’ve gotten to see my parents and talk to them about how my day went. Because it’s February and 75 degrees and beautiful outside. Because our pool is warming up and we’ll be swimming soon. Because the house I was driving home to is safe, cozy, and feels like home. Because I love my job every day. Because Chris comes home loving his job every day.
Next month, it will be one year since we moved to Florida. One year. That’s a long time. A lot longer than I expected it to take before I understood why we were here. The thing about our move was that before we left Connecticut, I had a list of reasons that I thought we were moving for. To be closer to family being the top of the list. But what I’m learning about life changes and life-altering decisions is that we very rarely go into them knowing what the reasoning is ahead of time. And maybe that’s for the best. If we knew everything we were supposed to learn before an experience, what would the point of that experience be?
When we moved to Florida, I was so disappointed by everything that our move wasn’t. It wasn’t what I pictured. Nothing that happened to us was what I had planned. It wasn’t home. It wasn’t even familiar. But I’m discovering that when you’re so busy trying to make a situation what you expect it to be, you miss out on what it really is. And in the past year, what our situation has really been is a time of incredible growth, of incredible highs, and very dark lows. As much as I loved our life in Connecticut, we didn’t have that range of emotion and experience in our life there. And as happy as our marriage was in Connecticut, we have grown stronger, more confident, more secure, and more united in our marriage after what we’ve experienced here.
So, no. Moving to Florida was not everything that I hoped it would be. But that’s okay because what I was hoping for was the wrong thing. I hoped for it to be a better version of our Connecticut life. I hoped for it to be what we were doing and loving up there, only closer to our family. But that expectation is selling our move and our family short because our move has been so much bigger than that. It’s been a new place and a new start at a new life. Of course, then, it didn’t feel like home right away. Of course, then, it didn’t feel familiar. Because part of a move is creating a new home and a new sense of familiarity.
Today as I drove home, that’s the feeling that I had. Familiarity. I was going home to a life that we’ve created in the past year – not to the life we had when we married, not to the life we had when we lived in Connecticut. I was going home to my life today.
And there was no where else I’d rather be.