Everyone who follows my blog knows that my sister has lived with us for the past three and a half years. It has been a wonderful blessing not only to have another adult around to help with the kids and housework and errands and such but to have a wonderful Auntie that the kids love and most of all to have my very best friend right here under the same roof. However, time marches on and good things must end. My sister has found a new job in Texas and it’s a great opportunity and though it breaks my heart to see her go, I reluctantly resigned myself to saying goodbye with many and many and many a tear.
It is going to be very hard to adjust to her absence. There is a big hole in our lives.
However, having an extra bedroom free does mean that we can finally move Anthony out of our bedroom. Yesterday we went to Ikea and bought a new mattress for him to sleep on (a low futon-style mattress that we are laying on the floor so we don’t have to deal with toddler beds and which will make it easy for Dom or I to cuddle with him if he needs that during the night since he has become accustomed to crawl into our bed when he is upset. Ben will eventually join Anthony in what will then be the boys’ room; but he’s “not quite ready yet.” The night she left Ben and I shared a good long cry at bedtime. Tree has really been a second mother to him, holding him for hours ever since the day he came home from the hospital. He really attached to her and at times has preferred to go to her for comfort when he is upset.
To help the children process and come to terms with the fact that she was really moving away, Theresa let them help her pack all of her belongings into the container that would carry them to Texas. Three little children were a very big help and Anthony was very good at watching and supervising.
Theresa was quite amazed at how quickly the work went with the girls and Ben all pitching in. And I thought it was very, very cute.
And I do think it was therapeutic. As they loaded boxes into the crate, the children would ask where they were going and why. The litany helped them to absorb the information and to understand it in a concrete way as the contents of my sister’s room gradually made their way into the container.
When the room was finally cleared, they all crowded in and danced around. They were very excited as we told them that what had previously been forbidden territory would now be their own place to play and sleep. We carried in baskets of toys and books and they bounced up and down on the crib mattress I put in there as a placeholder.
Anthony has now slept in the new room three nights. The first night he woke up screaming at 3:30 and spent the rest of the night in our bed. (Sadly, I didn’t get back to sleep until after he woke up for the day at 5:30. Then I got another two hours of sleep while Dom managed breakfast.) The second night I had a terrible migraine at bedtime and while Dom was reading the kids their bedtime stories I was huddled on the bathroom floor throwing up. Anthony cried himself to sleep in Dom’s arms but then slept the entire night through in his new room. The third night (the first night on the new mattress) he woke up once but I went in and held him till he fell back to sleep then eased him down onto the mattress where I snuggled next to him until I was sure he was soundly asleep. He spent the rest of the night in his own room. So really an easy transition so far out of our room.
The other transitions are going to take much more time.