Monday, February 23, 2009

You know how some people get itchy feet?

When the sun is shining, when a plane flies over head, when you see the images of somewhere tropical and you just want to leave, now?

I get that, too. But, with a trip on the horizon - our celebration trip - I'm feeling somewhat content to be here.

However, I also have that restless feeling inside me. That feeling that something is unsettled, out of sync, shivers through me. I have a feeling of discord about the house. It's nearly spring cleaning time and I wish the weather would cooperate. I know I've said this time and time again, but I continue to feel that our home is just our things placed in another person's house. I don't feel like it's together - that things are "just so" and go naturally with the space. There are pieces of it coming together - the dining room is mostly done, the girls' bedroom is complete (still need to clean out their closet - we don't use it for clothing, but it bothers me that there are random things shoved in the nooks and crannies from the girls). I am ready to pack away winter clothes, christmas skirts, winter coats, and boots. I am ready for sandals and sundresses once again and I know that we still have at least six weeks of this cold weather. I have an urge to purge - to phase out, to simplify, to pack away and organize. But the task is too daunting to begin at the moment. I need more mental clarity for such a huge undertaking.

There is so much to do before our post-casting cruise, but mostly, the feeling, I think, is anticipation. There are milestones to get through before we leave. First we have a series of dental appointments for Jae, who needs her spacer installed and another set of fillings and sealants. Then, the appointment. The x-rays. The information we need. And the day that sends my stomach instantly into a fit of knots.

A month later we have Easter, which, honestly, I feel is just something we have to get through. It's not one of those holidays that are super magical for me, but I try to not let my own feelings color the kids' day. They like it. So, we will dye the eggs. We will hunt for eggs. We will get baskets and put on dresses and smile and take pictures. And all the while I will be screaming inside, like a little child, "Is it time to go now? Is it now? Now is it?"

Piper's 5th birthday is the next Friday. I have to consider the possibility of combining that with Easter, since family gatherings tend to be hard to coordinate some months. It would certainly be easier if we could do it all at once. And she won't mind. (Plus, hey - I won't have to come up with treat bags if there are plastic eggs filled with candy) :)

The day of her birthday, she'll want to go to Starbucks and get a special drink. It's part of our ritual. (Otherwise they want a cocoa every time we drive through). They get something big and whippy and sprinkled and it always brings a smile to my face to see them offer others a drink even though they don't have to. Then, she'll want to see a movie. Up until this year, we really never went to a theater. Sure, if my Mom came in town and she and her husband could each take a kid, then we would each take one, and there would be one who could manage on their own - then, maybe we could actually watch a feature length film. But, not on our own. There are questions about plot and characters and storylines. There are requests of more popcorn, more peanut butter cups, another drink. There are complaints of not sharing, leaning on the arm rest, the youngest wanting their seat. And, of course, the dreaded - "I have to go to the bathroom."

We politely sit to the side, near the exit, so that when the baby cries, when the toddlers fuss, when the preschoolers have to go pee, we do not disrupt the theater. We buy five kids packs so that there is no fighting over tiny bags of popcorn or tiny drinks. Peanut butter cups are evenly distributed and Dad is on baby/toddler duty while I am on bathroom shuttle duty. So, you see, movies are not exactly fun for us now (not to mention insanely expensive! Since when is a friday night feature film $9.50?)

It is rare that we go to the movies on any night other than a birthday night. In years past there was a nursling or a toddler who could not, would not, sit still. So, the birthday child would choose a parent and they would have one-on-one time at the theater, treated to their own bucket of popcorn and their own soda and their own bag of peanut butter cups or junior mints or sno caps. But, as is usually the case, Jae bends the rules. This year she wanted everyone to go. And, so we did - to see Coraline 3D. And we reached a milestone that night. Our kids are now old enough to go to the theater together! We had no fighting, no crying babies, and we actually got to watch (okay most of) the movie. Jack was a little antsy by the end, but considering the fact that he is just two and a half, it was to be expected and I think we managed it well. So there is little doubt in my mind that Piper will choose a family movie outing, instead of family movie night, for her birthday.

And then, one week later, we leave. It is my hope that the coming weeks will go quickly, similar to the season from Halloween to Christmas, where one event leads into the next and before you know it you're on your way. But, time will tell.

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