In October, we left our home in the sticks and moved in with my mom. Into her basement. Into two bedrooms. For six people and a dog. It's been super fun. We'll stay here until the school year is out and then we're thinking of moving to a new town. But...it's all up in the air and still open for discussion at the moment.
Morgan got a job driving truck for a company in Hazleton in September. He hauled cattle and was gone from Monday until Friday or Saturday. It was tough at first, but we got used to it. As soon as we got used to it, in the middle of November, he lost that job. He started working for Swift Transportation driving truck in December. He completed all of his training before Christmas and then stayed home with me while I recovered from my surgery. He finally headed out on the road the first week of January and has been gone ever since. We're hoping to see him on Thursday, but he is currently in Kentucky and waiting for the company to assign him a load that will bring him back west. We have no idea how long that will take, so I'm just hoping to see him before I send the kids off to college.
It was his choice to stay out for three weeks, the reasoning being that since it's been so long since we have had a paycheck that it would be a good idea to work a lot right at first. However, it has turned out being not such a great idea as the kids have missed him terribly and he's run into a few other logistical concerns being out that long. The company requires that the drivers be out for at least two weeks, though, so he'll still be gone for long stretches with only two days home at a time. We feel that this is a temporary set up and that we can tough it out for a year or so and then possibly he'll be able to get a local job.
In the meantime...
I never imagined that I would be 32 years old and live with my mother. It's amazing how much I care what she thinks about me, my personal habits, my parenting techniques, etc. now that I'm back under her roof. In my own house, I didn't feel guilty if there were days that the kids stayed in their jammies until 3:00. Now I feel as if I'm watched every minute of the day. I have taken to calling her "The Warden" when I talk to Morgan because I feel like every single move I make is under constant surveillance.
In all fairness, I know that it can't be easy for her, either. She has given up her regularly scheduled life to allow us to be here and we do our best to respect her home and her privacy but I have toddlers, people. Toddlers are respecters of no one and no thing. Cats fall into that same category, but it only took one of them pooping on her brand-new bedspread twice for them to become permanent outside cats. You just can't do that with toddlers.
There are pros and cons to living here. For instance, I only make dinner and do dishes half of the nights. Also, if I don't abuse the privilege, a quick run to the store for a gallon of milk can be just that, a quick run to the store, instead of the diapers-wipes-sippy cups-coats-boots-hats-mittens-car seats odyssey that it used to be. Yep, I just hop in the car, buckle my seat belt, and head out. It's quite a new and magical experience. I think that once, long ago, I used to do the same thing, but I believe that all memories of those times are erased by progesterone and oxytocin. Now, they are nothing but wisps of déjà vu.
My privacy, however, is something that I kissed goodbye the very first week that we lived here. I was in the shower, you know, showering. The door was firmly closed. I turned off the water, opened the curtain, and as I was reaching for the towel, my mom opened the bathroom door. She actually looked surprised to see me naked. The door was closed, the water was on less than ten seconds ago - what did she think I was doing? Gone are the days of checking facebook in my undies while eating a bowl of cereal. Gone are the days of quiet lounging.
But I am grateful. We are here for a season, and soon we will begin another season in our lives. And in that season, I will do everything while wearing nothing but my underwear.