Sorting and Sifting and Tossing and Boxing

The past couple of months have been some of the most stressful we’ve ever experienced. We are now in the final stretch, and soon we will be in our new home (renting), in a new state.

We sold the house and closing is in a couple of weeks.

We are packing and I have gone through every inch of this house, sorting and sifting and doing everything in my power to make sure nothing comes with us that isn’t useful, or that we don’t love. It makes moving considerably harder. You can’t just dump drawers into boxes. You have to go over every drawer and nook with a fine tooth comb, and you have to be firm and unsentimental.

We are at a turning point in our lives, and we don’t want to be weighed down with things we don’t value or need. Interestingly, Todd is having a harder time letting go of some things than I am. Why the man would want to hang onto my paintings from high school I don’t know, but I am like…NO. Off to the curb.

Funny enough, a neighbor came by and took them.  Hot Toddy feels so much better about it now.

I was talking to someone recently who had to go through her parents stuff after their deaths, and she said it was a terrible burden, to have to toss things she knew meant a lot to them. I’ve been using this stratedgy on HT, “So we’ll carry around this stuff, storing it for the next 30 years and then burden the children with having to get rid of it after we’re gone?”

He conceded.

The house we’ll be renting has much less space, so that is another incentive.

Anyway…it’s HOT out, and our current house doesn’t have AC. And it’s really only this hot a few weeks out of the year and we have window units for the bedrooms so it’s never been a problem, but we are doing hard labor. Up and down the stairs a million times. Hauling boxes to our POD, (we pack it and load it, they drive it and drop off in our new driveway, we unload ourselves. It’s much cheaper than hiring movers but it is a ton of work).

We are almost there. The attic and upstairs bedrooms, and basement and most of the garage are all cleared out. I’ve been scrubbing the bedroom floors because I want it to be perfect and clean for the new owners. All that’s left is piled into the dining room for more boxing and sorting. And I can’t really pack the kitchen yet with a couple of weeks to go. Not with special needs diets and needing to make most of our food at home. Though the kids are getting more processed food than they’ve ever had (and more TV and iPod).

Our POD is almost full. ┬áThere is a treasure trove at the curb. We made the junk collector’s day. Seriously. He picked up so much stuff in front of our house and beamed and proclaimed he could stop work early today. Also, we live in a neighborhood that values recycling. Neighbors took away a lot of stuff too. A new family across the street got Seth’s train table, and a bunch of other stuff. Other neighbors took things from the garage. Another one took storage bins we no longer need. It feels good to give stuff away to people who can use it.

I feel like we’re in the final stages of labor. We’re pushing now. We are so close. It’s all going to be worth it. But I look around feeling overwhelmed, I can’t do it! There’s no possible way! Yet somehow I know it will all happen.

We are sweaty and sore. We have BO (TMI?). We’re limping along to the finish. Yes, I’m mixing metaphors now but I’m fried so cut me some slack.

Sorting

and sifting

and tossing.

And boxing things up.

Oh my.

 

4100 Pages

We just finished the Harry Potter series. We started five years ago and have tackled one every summer, and some during the winters in between. I have read each of those 4100 pages out loud to my kids. The first book starts with such innocence and it perfectly matched where Riley and Seth were at the time. As Harry grew and matured, so did they, right in step with him.

The last book gets very dark, and it is appropriate that they didn’t read that book ’til this year. They can handle it now. They couldn’t have before.

The first one we started on a porch swing at a house we were renting when we first moved to CLE. The kids were 8 and six. The rest have been read snuggled together on our king sized bed, or I’ve read to them while they’ve eaten dinner on evenings that Todd worked.

I have loved reading aloud to my children. I am almost ready to be done with it. I am tired. Seth might have one more series in his future, he wants me to read The Lord of the Rings to him. We’ll see.

I’ve already read him The Hobbit and also the Indiana Jones series and a bunch of other less meaty books. Mostly while waiting for his sister while she’s been at various therapies. He’s become quite the independent reader, but the fact that he still wants me to read to him, still wants that closeness, I might not be able to resist. It won’t be much longer, I’m afraid.

When we finished the last words of Harry Potter today, he was on my left, she on my right. Spontaneously, they both hugged me, and in doing so hugged each other and we stayed there like that, in a group hug on the big bed for a thoughtful while and then Seth broke the moment with, “What’s next?”

What’s next?

We are moving. They are growing up.

A chapter is closing.

When they think back on their childhoods, I hope they fondly remember Cleveland, and the boy with the lightening scar on his forehead, and the mom that loved them so much.