Moving is a lot like parenting multiple kids. Seems like a strange comparison, I know; but bear with me for a few moments while I try (possibly in vain) to connect these metaphorical dots. It all begins with a nervous excitement of what the future may hold. Are we prepared for this? How will we possibly be ready in time? These are just some of the questions whizzing through your head like a luger on PEDs.
You begin preparations with the compulsive precision of Sheldon Cooper; arranging, labeling, labeling the labels. You make to-do lists that get to-done, meticulously checking off item by item. When the big day arrives, you take pride in what you’ve done; knowing that this is just the beginning of wonderful times ahead. Are we packing or having a baby? Analogy…boom; nailed it!
The “packing stage” of moving is the first child of the family. You’re uber attentive and overly cautious; bundling your baby with the same care and tenderness you give your leg-shaped table lamp. Every box is organized by room, labeled with precise descriptions of what’s inside; a not so subtle way of making sure everyone knows that your rare coin collection required two “large” boxes. It’s ok to show off a little; you’re as proud of that 1923 silver dollar as you are of your little bundle of joy…embrace your pride no matter how many times your friends make that vomiting motion.
The “emptying the moving van stage” is baby number two. You handled packing like a champ and assumed this next step would be a piece of cake. Well, you assumed wrong my friend. First of all, you underestimated the level of exhaustion you’d feel after stage/child #1. Your once strong extremities now quiver under the crushing weight of your couch cushions. It’s the same feeling as requiring two hands to lift that gallon of milk from the fridge first thing in the morning after a restless night with your clearly possessed demon child.
Secondly, stage two doesn’t seem anything like stage one. The boxes feel heavier and, despite what logic tells us, there are definitely more there then when you started. While you certainly remain careful with your fragile items, you learned during the packing stage that a bump or two won’t break them (but a delay in filling a certain someone’s juice cup will result in screams only heard by dogs and your soul), so slow-and-steady has been replaced by git-r-done on your priority list.
By the time you hit the “unpacking stage”, or baby number three in this little exercise, all bets are off. Half-emptied boxes are strewn about the cluttered home that not-so-long-ago was, dare I say, pristine. Your energy level? Non-existent. You passed tired on the freeway towards exhaustion long ago and now most closely resemble an extra from The Walking Dead. All those rules you obeyed before like “be careful with the box of picture frames” and “ease your baby into new foods”…they’re in the trash, along with your sanity and all that newspaper you wrapped everything in.
When all is said and done, there’s a little part of you that feels sorry for the unpacking stage. You look around at the still-untouched boxes labeled “spare room stuff” and “miscellaneous” and you think you’ve failed it somehow. “I haven’t given it enough attention.” You think to yourself, as a box of “knick knacks” teeters on the edge of a tower of cardboard. “I certainly haven’t been as gentle or caring.”
But as you sit there silently condemning yourself; in races Thing 1 being chased from behind by Thing 2. They spot the wobbling box of thingamajigs and whichamabobs and carefully ease it safely to the ground. They rip into it like its Christmas morning and before you know it, its contents are scattered throughout the house, being used as pawns in whatever make-believe chess game those two are playing. And that’s when you realize that no matter how difficult this whole “moving” thing seems to be, the fun that ensues far outweighs the work.
Was this really about moving? Was it about parenting? I’ll let you decide.
Analogy…boom; nailed it!
(And in order to help you meet your cuteness quota for the day, here’s the kids during the first snow storm at the new house)