Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Moving day
February 7, 2018
The baby is moving out! I know some are probably thinking, "Not again! Haven't we already heard this story?"
I would think so, but it feels different this time. My husband and I have watched seven children pack up and move out. We have also watched five of them unpack and move back in — at least once (but not all at once) — so the story is not a new one, but each time one leaves there is a feeling of excitement and of loss; of hope and of possibility and more than one celebration of success.
We did a happy dance for nearly a year when we managed to have all of them gone simultaneously. Since that time, it has been a bit of a revolving door. Just knowing the empty nest is real has given me more patience and a great deal of benevolence when the request for a temporary assist comes back around.
Honestly, I am happy to be able to do it. I can't help but worry when they are out there in the big, cruel world on their own. I confess there is comfort in having them close, though I know how important it is that they find their own path.
I was the one with my hand gently urging (pushing) each of them toward the exit. My husband seemed happy to have them stay. But I was determined to experience life without children. Even if they went to live with their other parent, they were out of our house and I considered that a win. We moved them in and out of dorms and apartments and drove them to airports — whatever it took. And each has made it on their own, at least for a while.
This next one to go (again) is the baby of the family and our only girl. She came home last year after several years away. She needed some time to regroup and get her bearings after experiencing a life on the other side of the planet. She came back a bit wiser, more grown, more exposed — as one might expect — and now she is ready to go again.
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This time, she is moving into a place of her own about an hour away. She has plans for work and school and has found an apartment. She is excited to be decorating and setting up house her way. I am excited for her. And so, it's time for another pick-up truck loaded with goods. We are making our rounds to local thrift stores searching for essential things, like furniture.
Recently we came across a deal we could not pass up — a full size oak futon. It was just the two of us and we were close to her new place, leaving us no choice but to move it ourselves. We got it into the back of the truck easily enough. We felt pretty good about it too. Then we go to the apartment. The next couple of hours were "Candid Camera" worthy.
The futon frame is 74 inches long and just a bit too wide. The entrance to her building has a door that opens inward and stairs directly in front of that. Her place is to the left and if the entrance door is open, completely blocked.
We essentially had to haul the frame up the stairwell, close the entry door, open her door and then work the frame at various angles trying mightily to coax it through. We tried every imaginable configuration, to no avail.
We looked at the possibility of pushing it through a window. We cursed. We turned it around. She dropped it on her shin. The back swung forward and caught me on the cheek. We tried it upside down. We tried it standing on it's end. We tried it sideways. I bashed by knee. She scraped the other shin. We cursed a bit more, but we did not give up.
We finally hauled it back outside and tried going down a walkway and in through the back entrance. We made it into the kitchen and only needed about two more inches of give to turn the corner into the living room but again, it was not going to happen. We were both drenched with sweat and at wit's end.
I suggested putting it back in the truck and taking it home. I went outside to give us both a break and realized there was a toolkit in the truck I borrowed. My baby found the wrench needed to disassemble the frame and we managed to move it piece by piece into place. Reassembly is another story but the bottom line is, we did it. It looks like it belongs there. And I realize so does she.
At the end of the day what I saw was a capable young woman full of determination, ingenuity, resilience and drive. She is ready to set off once again and will undoubtedly conquer the world. I need not worry.
She is, as they all are, doing just fine. Big cruel world, beware!
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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