Monday, November 09, 2009

Living My Way Into The Answers = Not Easy

On Friday, I was piggybacked across the threshold. Well, more like piggybacked halfway across the doorway and then unceremoniously dropped, since that was as far as Nicole could carry me. But I’ll take it. (I contend that it is Nicole’s lack of upper body strength and not my size that made this task difficult.) So that means we officially officially officially closed on the house in Northampton. It turns out short sales make for nightmare closings, but it was worth it, and we are happy beyond belief. I could not stop smiling all weekend. And I am still on that high. I feel so lucky and I am not taking a single moment of this for granted.

What a lifestyle change from NYC. There was moonlight on my pillows at night. Moonlight! It is so quiet in the woods; the kind of quiet you can hear. I heard my favorite sound in the world: The sound of wind rustling leaves. I watched the sunrise parfait of warm colors through our bathroom window. I even had to pull over one morning to watch the sun rise as I drove into town to try out a gym. We watched our girls learn how to walk down the steep driveway and play in a pile of leaves and play with rocks and leaves and twigs. And there were so many stars at night. This sort of nature I’m sure many people already experience and appreciate on a daily basis. But for me, after living in the city for twenty years, and for Nicole and the girls, it is amazing and restorative.

We spent the weekend nesting, which for Nicole and I translates into two very different sets of activities. For Nicole, that meant buying and installing filters for furnaces and changing deadbolts and meeting with the handyman and hooking up the wireless. For me it meant cleaning every single surface and finding a place to put the snowmen mugs and organizing the pantry. Trips to Home Depot for her and trips to Target and the food store for me. It works out well for us because everything gets done, and we are both content with our allotted chores. We work together very well like that. A bed, stove and fridge were delivered (the previous owner took every appliance and almost every light fixture with her), which makes life a little more comfortable. But we are sitting on the floor until we get furniture delivered.

This house really was fate for us. I think I wrote about this before, but we looked at it when it was on sale many years ago. I remember walking around hunched over in pain: I was pregnant but it was ectopic, which I didn’t know yet. We loved the house, and didn’t make the jump, for several reasons. Nicole continued to get weekly emails from the real estate agent and, about four years later (which was two months ago), the house pops up for sale again. Nicole took off the next day from work and called our mortgage broker and drove up and made an offer. The offer was accepted the next day, and here we are. It all happened very fast and yet very slowly, if you consider the first time we saw this house. It was fate.

On the drive home, I was thinking about this: Obviously the universe wanted us to wait a little longer for this house, and I wonder why. I think there is a lesson of patience in here somewhere. Day after day, patience is a trait I am trying to learn. I have little moments of impatience (why is the pizza delivery taking so long?) and big moments of impatience (the TTC years come to mind). I am not good at detail work because of this impatience affliction. And my worst Mommy moments can be attributed to this negative quality.

But I am trying, I really am. I even have this amazing Rilke quote printed out and framed to remind me:

"Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves ...
Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer."

Sometimes I don't even have the patience to read the whole quote! My lack of patience, and its partner in crime, my oh-so-controlling ways, undermine me at every step. I want to know every answer; I want to know what happens next; I want to know my future and my purpose and my life story. I read literary criticism sometimes before I read the book. I read spoilers before I watch the latest episode of Mad Men. This house (and my children and the presence of Nicole in my life…) reminds me that some things are worth the wait and sometimes things happen (people happen, events happen, jobs happen, relationships happen, life happens) in unexpected ways and in entirely unexpected timeframes. There is a bigger plan out there, of this I am now sure, and that is giving me comfort for a change.

I am trying to enjoy this rush because I know that life can quickly and easily take a turn for the worse. Life has certainly not always been easy or happy for me. But, as I have said before, this is how I know my life is on the right path: Each year is better than the last. 2007 was a great year, with the girls being born. The highlight of 2008 was getting married, officially, in Massachusetts. And now this. Right now, I just feel so lucky and happy and excited, and I am going to try to savor it and surf this high as long as I can.

Also, on a food note, I had the best slice of pizza this weekend: Asiago almond pesto with butternut squash, caramelized red onions and sage.

Pictured above, Nicole and the girls on closing day: Nicole is slightly stunned/subdued and the girls ran around in circles. And Avery in moose feetsy pajamas! She loves them and insisted on wearing them for nap time as well!


Steph said...

Those are The Boy's favorite pj's. He requests them everynight "moose, moose, moose". He gets all giggly when he slides his feet in and sees the moose feet.

BTW - congrats again on the house.

CD and SP said...

I can't wait for a playdate!!

Louise said...

Congrats on the house! What a wonderful retreat for your family! I agree that autumn is the best time of year...there is nothing better than being all cosy and hearing the wind through the trees.

Here's to many years of family memories!

P.S. I'm from Vancouver so forgive me if this is a dumb question....what is the difference between Northampton and "The Hamptons"?

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

Yay!!! Congrats!! When can we visit? ;)

Denise said...

Awesome congrats. Also I have had to start a new private blog. If u want to be invite3d email me at

Candi said...

Congrats on your new house!!! I grew up with so many leafs, and dirt and trees.. it will be great for your girls!!

I came across your blog for some information on partners having babies. Your girls are beautiful!!

enjoy the moonlight!!