Denial. You can only hold onto it for so long before you are forced to let reality slowly seep in bit by bit, still trying to ignore it all the while knowing it is there. That's where I was...in denial. I was tricking myself that clearly we weren't really moving, I mean we still own this house in Bryan, we will be back in December for Jason's graduation, and then (God willing) in the not too distant future to close on our house.
We haven't had the typical moving preparations with boxes tripping us up every two inches, skimping by with the last few items we haven't thrown in a box, fingers cut from trying to use the razor cutters on the end of the tape, and inner thighs sore from squeezing much too full boxes closed with your legs while struggling to tape them with your arms. But now that our garage sits jammed packed with items our family members have graciously given to us to fill up the 'new' house and a few newly purchased items, a going away BBQ, and a last supper I have slammed..HARD.into the reality of the move and I would be lying if I didn't admit that I have already choked up on more than one occasion. I haven't let the torrential downpour start yet, but I know it's coming. It's inevitable like that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you make a bad food choice and you do your best to hold it off for as long as you can, but it eventually erupts like a volcano and there is nothing you can do but let it take over.
When Jason and I first decided to stay in Aggieland in 2005 it was a tough transition. All of our undergraduate friends had moved on and we were in search of other young married couples. It took us a few years to find our niche, but it is the best group of people I have ever been around. I would like to say it was instant, but we all had to get over some first impressions. There was the 'way too classy and international looking one,' 'the untouchable women's volleyball coach,' 'the couple that surely were going to physically duke it out,' and the 'profoundly deep catholic perspective on everything.' Yet there were three very strong beliefs we all had in common: 1) being Catholic 2) using Natural Family Planning 3) the desire to have a natural child birth. The rest just fell into place. What started out as a casual dinner maybe lasting two hours quickly turned into a commune where new mothers stayed up entirely too late knowing that the little ones would wake in just a few short hours, but knowing this conversation, this friendship, this interaction, was far more energizing than a few hours of sleep.
I'm going to miss the tar out of these wonderful people (cue torrential downpour). These are the people we sat in class with and did Kegel exercises, drank beer, talked about child birth and cloth diapers. These are the first people we wanted to call when we successfully had a natural childbirth with Blythe and the people we eagerly waited to hear a birth story from. These are the mom's that you can call at anytime of the day and ask about green, lumpy poop, why won't my baby nurse, can you grab an extra gallon of milk while your at the store? These are the dad's who are always willing to help change a tire, repair a leaking sink, and move.
The girls and I spend 2 or more days a week with these wonderful ladies and their kids...how can we leave them? Better yet how can anyone else ever fill their shoes?
I think that is the other sad reality of moving. You know it's going to be really hard at first, but you also know that time heals and you will meet new people, maybe not as great or even close to the same, but you will meet new likeable people. No matter how much you want to keep the friendships you have the same, you know it won't happen. You know that life is busy and you will be just as guilty as your friends about not making that Skype call or sending that random letter. You will move on and so will they, not to say that you won't still see each other a few times a year and exchange Christmas cards, but this deep profound, breath giving friendship will never be the same.
I won't be able to throw the kids in the stroller or on the bike and be at the Romansky's in 5 minutes. I won't be able to attend a knitting class with Crissy. We won't be able to have a commune night one or twice a month and make memories we talk about for the next 5+ years.
I know that moving will bring growth and happiness in new ways, but right now I am caught in the moment...the reality that we are moving and leaving behind irreplaceable friends. I'm not looking forward to Blythe asking me "Mommy, are we going to play with my friends today," and I will tearfully have to tell her "honey, our friends live far away, but we are going to make new friends here."
I know this is what we have been working towards for 6 years, getting the PhD and then moving on, out of a college town and into the real world with a real paycheck, but I can't help but feel like we peaked too early. It's a concept I can't accurately explain to Blythe and I know she is going to be heartbroken when the reality of it all sinks in. Kids are resilient and she will move on and make new friends, not forgetting these friends of course, but while its an exciting time in life it is a terribly sad time as well.
I am sure that I have dozens of fantastic pictures that I could share from this weekend, but I am saving them. I am going to pull them out when we get to San Antonio and have that day where we are terribly friend sick and we can go through those pictures and see those beautiful faces and remember our dear friends and all the fun we had, and damn it, we will still have!