Walkaways

Two years ago today, I asked my children to leave everything they ever knew behind, again, follow us somewhere none of us had ever seen, again, and lay down the seeds of an entirely new life. Again. Two years ago, we opened the door to this house, held our breath, and stepped into come what may.

Where are you from they ask me, these new people I’m constantly having to learn. I can never figure out if they mean where I was born, or where I was the person that I used to be, or where I became this person I am now, or where I last lived, or where I would go if I had the choice?

I have no idea where I am from.

I am cheap ground beef.

I keep telling my children that some people go their entire lives in the same place, with the same people, living the same lives until they die, but they...oh, they! They have lived in countries, plural. They have seen things, touched lives, loved and been loved in return, I tell them, and they will be richer people for it.

I’m not certain any of us actually believe that anymore.

My children have a amassed an army of friends that reaches across the width and breadth of this continent. I lied about my kids ages so they could have Facebook accounts to feel connected all their Denverite and Canadian friends who's parents lied about their ages, too, and I don't regret it for a second, but I also don't think for one second that it will be enough.

What I don't want my kids to ever learn is that having all of those people out there in the ether, just out of reach, only serves to reinforce just how alone you really are. That every time you leave someone behind, the hole that is left in you is never big enough for someone new to fill. I watch my children play out front with the friends they are making here. They play basketball and build skateboard ramps and catch disgusting toads and ride bikes and talk about girls until well past dark. I smile because I think they can look at those kids and see their future. I am so terrified for the day that they look at their friends and think what I think: it's just a matter of time before you're just someone we're going to have to remember.

Are you making friends there they ask me, those people whom I've spent my entire life leaving. Well, there is that one  I say, not knowing how to tell them that I don't think I can anymore.

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry

"Where are we going, momma?" she asked me two night ago from the backseat of the car. "Home, baby", I answered. "Are we going to our new Texas house?" she squeaked softly from her carseat, and I told her we were. "Momma, dats not my home."


*gulp*


"Where is your home, babycakes?" "My bwue house is my home, wif my green woom. It's empty."


Empty House


Yes, yes it is, love.


She misses her home. She can 't remember the house in Denver that we lived in until she was 6 months old, she can't remember the little two bedroom apartment her brothers and I called home for a little over a year while her dad and I sorted our shit out, separately; all she knows in life is Moorside Place; the stairs, the yellow living room walls, her Granny Smith green bedroom walls, her white bed that we left behind for a new little baby who will need a crib when he's born. This is just some place full of boxes that we've crashed in for a while.


Home is where her gerbil is, and her gerbil isn't in America.


We're trying to do everything we can to make this as easy on them as possible. We spent every day of our 2+ weeks in the hotel at the pool, even the really cold, rainy ones, I haven't enrolled the boys in school yet, I got them cell phones, 3of3 has spent every single night in my bed, and I bought them every nasty, evil, food-coloring-soaked, marshmallow-laden, not really food at all breakfast cereal on the market. Because if their life is going to be torn asunder, I think they should at least get to eat some Count Chocula while it happens.


It's worked, so far.


We've spent these 3 weeks since we moved together, just the 5 of us, burrowed into each other making cardboard houses, watching so many movies, slowly unpacking, and laughing like we're hopped up on sugar dipped food coloring. It's been nice, but real life has to resume at some point.


Eventually, this house has to become home. And 3of3 doesn't even have a bed yet.


So yesterday, after my kid informed me that this isn't her home, I got on the horn with the eight thousand doctors and schools to get all the vaccination records and school records I'll need to get the boys back in school. I took them to Petsmart and let them buy a new gerbil, whom we've named Theodore. (Shut up, Molly & Marge, gerbils are heartier. It shall live. DAMMIT.) I opened a few of 3of3's boxes and dug out some clothes and toys. I went to the grocery store and bought more than beer and Apple Jacks. And last night, I took 3of3 with me to the Kirtsy Takes a Bow book signing where she made a new friend whom she wrestled with, got into a fight with, resolved that fight with and decided that he could be her new best friend fowrevowr.


And through sleepy eyes and tired words on our way back, she asked, "Momma, where we go now?" and I said that we were going back to our house. She said, "Are we going to my red home, momma?" and I smiled. Yes, little girl, we are going to your red home.


This Texas House


And now, to buy some fucking GRANOLA...