Is This Normal?

My brain, as you well know if you read here often, is like a carnival, a really scary and frenetically-paced carnival. Worries and ideas fly about like cries from carnies. (And yes, carnies do terrify me. Obviously.) It’s hard to focus on one thing because there is so much to see and do. It’s exciting but overwhelming.

Since our move home to Texas, I’ve been waiting for normal to set in. I would like the carnival to close up and be replaced by a lovely cafe with tea and books and deep conversation. First, we had to get our own place to live. Being with my parents upon first landing back in the States was great. There really is not much you can’t conquer when you are backed by John and Suzanne Karmann.

But, to feel settled, we needed to be living in a space of our own. We found and moved into a nice apartment about 300 yards from where we’d like to build a house. We can’t start building the house until the lots are prepared and a contract is signed. Also, we really need me to have a job so we know what we can afford to build. We would like to live within our means; we’re crazy like that. To that end, I’ve been tutoring two times a week since the end of February. I was hoping that work would turn into a permanent, full-time job next fall. I expected to be hired the minute the principal saw my awesome teaching skills. That hasn’t happened and probably won’t. That means I need to fill out applications in other districts, get transcripts sent, and try to find references. I need to update my resume.

Oh God, somehow I got on the tilt-a-whirl. I’m feeling sick to my stomach.

Suddenly I find myself living back at my parents’ house while they are in California visiting my brother and his family. They needed me to care for Lucy, the cocker spaniel they inherited from me when we moved to Poland. That poor dog has lived a very Stephanie-like life. She was born in Austin, and has lived in El Paso, my parents’ house in McKinney, my first apartment in Plano, Michael and I’s first apartment together where she got a brother cat, our house in McKinney, and then back at my parents’ house sans her family and cat. We decided it would be easiest on everyone if the boys and I slept at my parents’ house to care for her.

This meant we hauled stuff over (not all the right stuff) and have not seen Michael more than an hour or two a day. But that was going to be okay in the initial planning. We could make good use of my parents’ yard and nearby park. It would be totally fine! And it was until after the t-ball game Tuesday night. The game rocked because the boys got to play a ton and each hit a pitched ball. They didn’t even care about the cold wind that blew in during the game.

But that cold wind blew in rain and illness. We have not played in the yard since the first day, and no one is very rested. The boys are pretty sick of each other and me. The house is a wreck.

Michael took the boys to the apartment Friday night so I could get a break. I waited for the calm to rush over me, and it did at first. I used that evening to vacuum and get frantic because we still have until Tuesday afternoon at my parents’ house. And Alex is still sick. And for some reason we don’t have a thermometer at the apartment. And I didn’t bring enough clothes nor have I washed enough. And the boys won’t eat what I want to make, and I didn’t shop well enough to offer good options.

I’m afraid no normal pattern will emerge, or if it does, it’ll be long after my brain has ceased to function, and my family will be in tatters. I want to go on a date-night with my husband which hasn’t happened yet. I’d like to see some friends and have my time off from being parent-in-charge not be filled with grocery shopping or work. I need a job to look forward to and to assure us we can get a house. The boys need to play with other kids. I have boxes I need to get rid of at the apartment.

Seriously, who turned on the Zipper? I am petrified of that thing. Why am I still on it? Can you help me turn off this crazy ride?

I get clammy and jittery just looking at this thing.

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