She walked down the stairs and presented it to me, almost as if it was something I was to receive with reverence and surprise. And it was. Reverence and surprise, I mean, with which I met the gesture.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure when the last time was that I saw the chenille bedspread, but now it’s in my linen closet, asking for me to unfold it and marvel at its presence, conjuring up images from a time long since passed.
It was my eleventh birthday present. My daughter will be eleven next month.
I had been working on a draft about renewal, about hope, about how it seemed a corner had been turned for the better. I got a little ahead of myself, and so I’ll just write about how unpacking is by far the worst part of the moving process.
My house feels like an elaborate life-sized game of Tetris. Our new space is less than third the size of our previous space, though the lots are nearly identical in square footage. That is to say, we traded indoor square footage for outdoor square footage, and while I couldn’t be happier with our decision to swap an odd and oversized house with no backyard for a charming and cozy little bungalow with a yard that has inspired an entirely different way of life, I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out what to do with all our stuff.
Obviously, the easy answer to that question is to get rid of it. And believe me, that is what I’m going for – minimalism. But I have a really hard time tossing things my kids have made or given to me, things that hold sentimental value. For a sentimental person, that is pretty much everything. So, I’m working on keeping only the most special mementos and letting the rest go. But, yes. It is a process.
In the meantime, while we’re deep in the throes of eliminating our belongings, we’ve added a few new creatures to the menagerie. I know, right? But first, let me explain.
I blame the backyard. It’s just that it’s got so much potential that I have no other choice but to live into all my urban homesteader fantasies. So raised garden beds and chickens were bound to happen at one point or another and it just so happened that the nursery down the street had a fresh batch of hatchlings.
Here’s a fun fact, I really don’t love birds. I mean, I love birds, they’re beautiful and majestic and important, but they are not at the top of my list for animals I want to hold. They’re not even on my list, who am I kidding. They kind of freak me out. But for whatever reason, I thought that maybe baby chickens would kind of help me get over this little phobia. And as it turns out, nope. Not really helping. But my Huckle? Well! He just loves birds, and he’s always pressuring me into holding the chickens. And I don’t want to make him feel badly, so I hold the chicken even though I really don’t want to hold the chicken. Because that is the kind of mother I am. Ha!
But I kind of do love the chickens in the sense that they are hilarious in their very chicken way, and also because of the whole farm fresh egg thing. Which is really why I got myself into this mess to begin with, and yes it is a mess, because chickens are dirty and impossible to house train. So it’s a great thing they have to live in our shower for the next month.
So I love the chickens because of the eggs, which won’t come for another few months, whatever, but mostly I love the chickens because of how much my kids love the chickens. They were so excited by the prospect, they named them in advance, after the Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton. But the big kids were on a Spring Break vacation with their dad’s family when we brought the chickens home, and Roux ended up bestowing each of them with a name so pure, so innocent, and so so funny, that there was no way they weren’t going to stick. And so goes the story of how our chickens came to be known as Duck, Flower, and Black Black.
“This is my baby chicken called Duck!” will forever be one of my favorite things he has said.
At some point, the stories will come pouring out, but I don’t want to force what isn’t ready to be written.