Adapting is the operative word after a move

Beloved Family,

I know it’s scary, this move we’ve made. I know things are different, belongings are in different places, It takes longer to get to the grocery store (10 minutes after all), and it seems we’re living on top of Kathmandu sometimes. I know I’ve been really busy trying to get settled. I’m not cooking as much as usual because the fridge is smaller and I don’t want to stock up too many leftovers, but there is always something around to eat. I’ve never left you to starve, even when I’ve left the house.

I understand my meltdowns have not always been easy to handle, as I’ve tried to figure out how to live in a new space after so many years hunkered down in one place. I’m happy, you, my girls have settled your bedrooms, and you, my husband, have finally moved all the junk from your old shop to our garage. I’m happy and excited, husband, to help you navigate getting the new shop built.

However, I assure all of you there are many things that are the same and we can continue to live as harmoniously as we ever did. I believe in all of you. I have confidence you can make it through these changes. Home is where the heart is, or where the family is, okay, it’s where your wife and mother is.

I’m writing to you today to inform you that, yes, you are all still capable of loading the dishwasher. It’s a bit smaller, but it works very well. I understand it must stay closed most of the time because of the shape of this new kitchen, so it’s really difficult to tell if the dishes in it are dirty or clean without opening it and scrutinizing the state of the dishes inside, but really, I have faith in you, my family.

You could even unload it. I get that you’re not sure where dishes, pots and pans are located. Let me take you on a tour sometime. If you’re in the kitchen contemplating the fate of that clean mixing bowl you have in your hand, I’m probably in my bedroom watching TV. You could ask me. I realize the expanse of the house is much longer than our old house, so text me and if I can’t explain it in writing, I’ll get out of my chair, hike your way, and show you where things belong.

While I’m discussing tasks you are still capable of helping with, let’s talk about the floors. I have the broom stashed right around the corner of the kitchen in the dining room, within easy reach of tall, adult children or husbands. If you don’t want to bend over and use the dust pan to pick up the debris, this house is equipped with a built-in vacuum. And if pulling the big hose out seems like too much effort, we brought our regular vacuum with us when we moved from our old house.

I’m learning to adapt to my surroundings. I expect you, my family to do the same. I could use your help sometimes, too, because though you each have your one space to work out, I have the whole house. It used to seem so easy in our old house, until I realized Dad and I moved there before we even had much furniture. Or pictures. Or people to take pictures of. Before we had you two.

Really, though, I’d be ever so happy if all of you just did your part and put your dishes in the dishwasher. It doesn’t take that much to make me happy.

Your most devoted,

Wife and Mother

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom living nearby in unincorporated King County. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com, on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.

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