It has been one long week since I visited and I feel a bit like a college student who is weary from killer finals and post-killer finals keggers at the frat barn who has returned home for a break that she swears will be packed full of working for some family friend or another and spending QT with the fam but will really be spent sleeping in late and hoping her mother does her laundry.
Except, without all the overly foamy Milwaukee's Best (forgive me for this, but I am totally conditioned by attending a highly-competitive state school in Missouri to follow that brand mention with horned fingers in the air and yelling, "Bring on The Beeeeaaaaast"). Oh, and without the sleep.
We've been busy. I've been working a lot of hours (this is a good thing...right?) and squeezing in an exhaustive apartment search, games of Candy Land, co-op and daycare, energy-burner laps around the block and praying for spring to arrive for real this week into any and every free moment.
Thankfully like the whole college spring break (well, my college spring breaks which never involved bikinis or clubs in Florida filled with foam and jello shots), my parents have been very involved. My mom took on this wonderful, wired-up role as apartment finder and with my dad, did drive-bys and internet research and Google map consulting for weeks and weeks.
My dad patiently finished and folded all the laundry I neglectfully left in the washing machine for days on end and did his crossword with Lil E snuggled in beside him in the big chair while I sat in front of my laptop for seemingly endless hours, scouted out more apartments and did and re-did and re-did my monthly budget.
And just like seeing that A arrive in mail in rubbed-off type on a tissue paper report card, there are shining moments when staying up studying and cramming and flexing the brain until 3 a.m. in boxers and t-shirts from said frat barn keggers all seems worth it.
We got an apartment. An apartment (feel free to say that as shrill as needed...I do)! A lovely place that I could immediately picture us in. It is bright and safe and feels happy, even without our things inside. It is close to the apartment where we used to live, even closer to my parents and closer still to a big park that I've always loved. We will not be far from our old friends and we will be in a new place where I know there will be new neighbors to meet.
We have a lot of work to do before we settle in to our new home. There will be more late nights, more stress, more juggling of childcare and schedules and expectations. But once the books are closed, the lights are out and we are tucked into our own beds in our own home, I think there will be that sigh of relief that only comes when you've accomplished something big.
Sometimes, I guess, those accomplishments are academic, sometimes professional and often familial. They are always emotional, though, aren't they? And almost always solved by just getting home.