real estate games

It’s becoming another mad spring. We’ve decided to put our home up on the market, and once it sells we are moving to New Jersey. I now spend all the time I used to devote to scrolling social media to scrolling Zillow. Who knew Zillow was so addicting? Seeing homes go on the market, drop their prices, add open houses, and then go to the very elusive and secretive “pending” status consumes much of my time now.

We (my husband and I) are in the very lucky in that we should find a home pretty easily that meets all of our “must haves”. Dealing with real estate agents (the buying agents) is annoying, but luckily we’ve found a selling agent locally who I trust to look out for our best interest.

The idea of starting all over again in a new location used to make me excited. I have wanted to move off of Long Island basically since we moved here; it’s so crowded and expensive and people seem impatient and I hate traffic and the last Christopher Nolan Batman movie scared the crap out of me because while “Gotham City” (Manhattan) was cut off by the exploding bridges, it also meant ALL of Long Island (Gotham Island?) was cut off too and the reality of living on an island didn’t appeal to me anymore.

But having to meet new mom friends, new circles, new social groups seems hard. It was hard here and I was younger and thirstier back then, now I’m older and less interesting. I’ve really settled into my schooling here and I could have seen a future in the local community college nursing program, I’m now moving to an area with a totally different program I’ll have to re-navigate around. Even my gym, my precious “me time” space will no longer be the same; the reverence and admiration I have for all the gym instructors will go away and the routine I’ve set up will be gone too.

But the time is now. My commuting pilot husband has been driving 3+ hours to Atlantic City for work for over a year. We can’t expect him to continue this for the rest of his career. Even though I’ve never fully embraced Long Island as my “home”, hopefully, we can settle into a real neighborhood in New Jersey and it will become my family’s permanent place.

Spring time is always a rush of change and new beginnings and we shall see what this upcoming one brings.


the joys of a little boy

Holden is my baby, the youngest of three, and my second son. But in so many ways he’s my first “boy”. My eldest, Eli, was a shy, studious toddler with a fixation on doors and trains and books and was quiet until he was 3. Literally. He didn’t really start talking until then, and this was after 18 months of speech-language therapy. Compared with our second child, Luella, Eli was easy as a toddler. Luella has her moments of drama and misbehavior, but she is also capable of focused play and is a pretty good listener.

But Holden. Man, Holden.

He’s that toddler who climbs. Climbs up high and dances at the top and dares you to stop him from repeating it once you drag him back down. He really enjoys pushing stools up to the kitchen counter and grabbing whatever he can reach, which is quite a lot. It’s terrifying to admit, but I’ve turned my back to him for seconds only to come back and see him brandishing a knife that I thought was out of reach. His grin as he waves it at me is mischief defined.

As I’m typing this out I’m realizing I just should ban him from the kitchen forever.

It’s just so obvious to me that he delights in naughtiness. When I tell him “no” his face lights up and he looks absolutely pleased with himself. He’s the first kid of mine to actually want to play in the toilet and the dog bowl and with the cleaners we store under the sink (which is child proof but he grabs for them whenever he can slide his quick hands past us when we open the cabinet doors).

He also enjoys carrying toys around and hitting me in the face with them, or his sister or brother if I’m not around. “Holden, are you going to hit me with that?” I’ll ask and he’ll wind up his arm and say, “Noooo” right before taking aim.

Okay, now I’m making it sound like he’s just this terror of a child who likes violence and danger and obviously there’s way more to him than that; it’s just funny to me how much of a boy I’ve got on my hands here. He needs limitations and constant supervision and this Mom has had two older kids who didn’t need a hawk-eye kept of them all day long, so the adjustment for me is hard.

Plus, for all his trouble-making, he’s insanely sweet and cute and those moments seem more tender because of his other stinky side. For example, today at the library program, whenever there was a toy prop for a song (like bells or bean bags) he’d bring me one first, before getting himself one. The kid’s not even 18 months old yet but he’s spoiling his mom. He hands me the toy and I swear winks before turning back around for one for himself.

And he’s just as likely to plant spontaneous kisses on my face, randomly, as he his to try and beat me with a metal toy truck. The kisses far outnumber the hitting and there’s nothing quite like having my rascal toddler bring me a book to snuggle up on my lap with. He melts my heart faster than butter on a frying pan with these moments.

They say every child is different, and this is true. My kids are all individuals but I never really thought my sweet baby would turn out so much more “boy” than his older brother, and even this, my third-time go-round with a young toddler, it’s a different ride and trip daily. My Holden is exasperating and funny and thrill-seeking and sweet and I finally have an understanding of what those moms who use the hashtag “boy mom” are all talking about.

Oh Holden. Stay my little sweet menance forever, sweet boy.