Not really, I love change—I am fueled by variety. But I love that song, because I’m a walking mid-life crisis, and that song is the anthem of the female mid-life crisis. Let’s just remind ourselves of how great it is:
And yes, I built my life around a lot of things that the landslide brought down, but this little family remains.
So, changes. First of all, the kids and I never spent this much time together, and now it’s sort of isn’t an option. I don’t think I fully understood that my alone time was officially over. It might have made me nervous had I realized it earlier, but I’m surprised how comfortable it is to be with the kids all the time now. That’s not to say I’m not crabby and yelling too much still, but I don’t feel like I want to run and hide like I used to.
Ben will go and body surf or longboard on his own, and Sophie and he will ride the beach cruiser bikes that came with the house around our little beach community. But very often we are all together, driving for a little sightseeing, shopping, actually preparing and eating meals together. I realize this is normal for many people and doesn’t require such extreme measures to make happen, but this wasn’t the case for me, apparently.
We eat in, we get bored. It’s nice.
I heard from Amy (a brilliant psychologist, so it must be true) that it’s a good idea to change environments when you want to make changes, because the old physical environment and associated triggers will be gone, and you can create new habits that go with the new surroundings. I have definitely seen that. The kids are more diligent on the daily job charts, the house seems to be running way more smoothly. Aside from my own personal habits that still need attention, the family functioning is greatly improved at this point over how we were.
You can say perhaps the novelty will wear off, but aha!—the experiment has perpetual novelty built in. So bam! [Mic drop].
[mic retrieved] So a big factor is that when schoolwork is over, sometime after lunch, there is no where to be. No music lessons, no gymnastics, no activities planned. It’s so interesting to see what happens then. Ben and Noah play foosball and actually interact sometimes, and I can see Noah just loves that. Noah discovers a puzzle in the cupboard and puts it together, or he pulls out his Legos. People get out the kites in the garage. Sometimes the kids go to the beach without me (although they don’t love that because Noah and Lucy can’t get in all the way).
Of course, everyone still begs for screen time, which I begrudgingly indulge more than I should to get my work done. I justify it when I think about how much time I watched TV as a kid, and look how great I turned . . . . oh, wait. Dang.
But overall, it is clear our family is getting more familiar with each other, and, unable to avoid each other, actually are building some friendships. More inside jokes are popping up. Older kids are interacting with younger kids, explaining stuff. We have interesting discussions at the dinner table that happen spontaneously.
It seems by opening up our home to include the whole world, our little family seems more of a central unit. Whereas before, our little physical home used to be the center, yet we were all simply satellites in our own orbits.