If there is one thing I know for sure about myself, it is that I don't like change. I have lived in my house for over 8 years now and most my furniture is in the same place it was the day we moved in. Sure, I've made updates and added new pieces but the layout is still exactly the same. So this week when the Christmas tree came down and I moved a chair from one wall to the other, it was unsettling. When my hubby then suggestion that we swap the location of my son's train table and another chair I said, "Um, let's wait on that for a bit".
I don't think I've always been this anxious about change. Maybe that's because when you're in your twenties, your life is in a constant state of change. College classes change every semester, you move frequently, friends come and go, boyfriends come and go (mine stuck around despite my best efforts), you get different jobs. But now that I am 29 years old (see: You're Not Perfect, Your Kids will love you anyway), I have more stability. I'm married. I own a home (two actually). And I have a three year old and three four legged friends that almost force routine to be in my life. The truth is, I like it that way.
I discovered this about myself several years ago now when my husband and I were in conversation about our neighbors. Our neighbors, D&D, have an automated house. It used to be (may still be) the most automated house in the state of Wisconsin. So when I say it is automated, I mean automated. Their house is ran by computers. Everyday, their house wakes them up at the same time, opens their curtains in the morning and closes them at night. It turns the morning news on, turns it back off when it is time to listen to NPR, turns off completely when it is time to surf the web. So they essentially have the same schedule everyday (they have some variations but as far as we can tell, not much). But when my husband and I were talking about this after meeting them for the first time, our reactions where very different. The memory goes something like this:
"So what do you think about the automated house and their scheduled day?" At the same time we both response:
Me, "It's cool"
Husband, "It's crazy"
Of course a philosophical conversation pursued for several more minutes about who was more right. So that is when I realized that I like constant. I like structure. And I like a schedule. Unfortunately it is also when I realized I was spending my life with a man who didn't like constant. Who didn't like structure. And who didn't like a schedule. I suppose our differences are exactly what keep us together (and makes two crazy people somehow seem less crazy together).
Yesterday my son had his last day at day care. He has been enrolled there since he was just 10 weeks old. The staff there has been so kind and the friends he has made along the way are great. It was hard saying goodbye. We've been prepping him for this change for two weeks now, ever since we learned a space opened up for him at a Montessori program that we have been on the wait list for for one year. It turns out for the last two weeks I guess I was sort of prepping myself too. Change is hard. I held it together when we were saying our goodbyes to his teacher but I started to cry once we reached the car. It is hard to imagine that he will no longer be going to that same center and playing with the same friends five days a week. With it comes a lot of other changes, some big, some small. For two weeks I've been worried about him and how I'm ripping him away from his friends. I've been thinking about how he is going to hate this new school and we might have just made a terrible decision. But when my son saw me crying he said, "It's ok mommy, we can go to Old McDonald's and you can get some chicken nuggets and french fries, that will make you feel better". Yes son, I suppose it will.
Oh yeah, and today I moved that chair and train table like my husband suggested. Apparently the dog and cat were really excited about the move.
For those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting my dog, you know how rare this moment of rest is (for him and me). I'm taking this as a sign that furniture is now where it should be.