The End of An Era

As I was finishing cleaning out the house we have inhabited for almost 22 years. I looked around at the empty space and realized it is a crucible in which my family was formed. Does that sound extreme? It has been.

Suddenly, alone in the house doing the last of the vacuuming, I notice I am crying. I am crying because I thought moving would be different. I thought it would organized and calculated and there would be a more formal way of saying goodbye to all we have known. I expected a flamboyant and final farewell. But instead, we literally abandoned ship on a Friday afternoon in the middle of this ‘Covid-19 Crisis’ . The uncertainty about our ability to rent a truck, find moving help or to what extent the ‘stay-at-home’ orders would infiltrate our lives, Dennis and I made a last ditch effort to get the most important items and our beds moved in the back of his pickup truck. Moving was unsettling and the ‘world pandemic’ produced anxiety and uncertainty at a completely new level. I have felt as though I am free-falling for a couple of months now.

And just like that, we moved into our new house with no official way to welcome ourselves or our friends. No housewarming party or celebration – as is our style. No fanfare. We just did. It is not how I pictured any of this.

Unhappily, I discover that I am also crying because I’ve been left alone in the house. Normally, that would be a very welcomed situation for me, but I have become accustomed to four very different walls and seven additional people with me at all times. We have developed a specific choreography to our isolated days, and right now, deviating from it seems wrong and uncomfortable. That in itself is distressing. I am upset that I am alone, and then upset that I am upset about it. It’s a vortex.

I turn back to thinking about our little house. The house meant everything to us. It took us a few hours to move into it as we owned absolutely nothing. Ethan and Dennis and I had all the space we needed and I was pretty certain that we would not have any other children.

<Insert laugh track here>

If there is anything that defined this house it was children and parties. My sister’s kids and mine were raised like siblings here. Picnics on the driveway were a common occurrence. There were birthday parties, countless holiday parties and a New Year’s Eve party that hosted 70 people! There were sleepovers of all types, children who joined us for 1 night or several weeks through foster care. Once, adoption papers were signed at our dining room table as there was not another feasible location for the family to do it. We homeschooled our kids here comfortably. Our family was ridiculously happy in this house. The 1400 sq. ft. of that house lived super-BIG and we could not have asked for one more thing.

Except for a BIG, new house for a new chapter in our lives! I can’t wait to tell you her story. It’s amazing.


What’s going on, you ask? Ok. I’ll tell you.

The Happy Man is busy, chaotic and unpredictable. We are endlessly thankful for this program that keeps him engaged doing things he likes with people he loves. When he is home, he continues to color and color and color. He takes breaks to play Xbox, watch funny videos on YouTube, plan his audition material for Americas Got Talent. He occasionally hosts a ‘fake’ funeral for Joe Jackson in his room.

90% of the time he’s pretty funny and very entertaining. The other 10% usually produces parental exhaustion, total frustration and an infrequent emergency. His consistency lies in his inconsistency, if that makes sense. I sometimes write about E here. Follow him on Instagram here.

The Welder happily graduated from high school and took a job in a metal fabrication shop. After a few months of that, he realized that he was not getting what he wanted out of it and embarked on some “Life Lesson” exercises. He sought advice from wise & thoughtful men who know him well, planned an exit with integrity, made contingency plans, researched some options and changed his mind and course. It was painfulf and wonderful watch.

He will be attending RVCC for the Spring semester as a Physics Major using his NJSTARS Scholarship. He has the most lovely girlfriend, a good work ethic and big ideas.

Photo courtesy of Happy Famiy Art

The School Boy does just that. People ask me if he ‘likes’ school (I guess after homeschooling most of his life). Go ask any teenager if they ‘like’ school. It’s a place to be and he likes the mayhem and antics associated with a large concertration of teenagers doing teenager things. He would gladly spend all his time as a professional camp counselor, like he did this summer (and the previous summer). He rocks the ‘work’ thing and the ‘summer’ thing – but something needs to fill the time in between. He loves his friends, his hamster, binge-watching Netflix and finding Friday-night fun. Mikey is thoughtful and funny and quintessentially 16 – drivers permit and all.

The Homeschooler is completely feral. He plays town sports, skateboards with friends, plays any and every board game every chance he gets. He loves Mahjong, reading, is teaching himself cursive and playing Dragon Box. He loves all things Dungeons and Dragons and has several ongoing games. He’s all about The Pyramid Code and Ancient Aliens. He is my constant companion. He does not believe he is 10.

Our current world is a sharp contrast to how it all started. There is so much to miss and so much to look forward to, and some pretty good stuff to just be in now.

Sunday Scenes – Wedding Recovery Edition

Our family was in a hotel from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon for a BIG, happy, amazing, love & fun-filled wedding. We all came home fried!

Sunday was full of unpacking messes, reading, napping and Harry Potter watching. NOT cooking is NOT an option – Moday morning comes quickly and since I have switched up my eating habits to a paleo/healing diet – food-making is a must.

We are coming off of months of chaos – moving my mom, unexpected funerals and the awesome wedding. I am hoping & praying for months of calm to make up for it. Is that even an option?

Not Back to School-ing

For 13 Septembers, I, along with other homeschoolers who are so inclined, celebrate the fact that we are not beholden to school district policies and procedures of having a ‘first day of school’ or a date and time we must begin ‘our studies’.

Whichever children were currently identifying as homeschoolers in our family, ignore the date and time, and proceeded with the activites of their choosing. Sean is currently the lone pupil of The Costello Academy for Wayward Boys (kidding!!…some people name their homeschools. That was a joke) we will be traipsing around the state, looking for fun in every nook and cranny.

We will carry on as we please, because the beautiful days are numbered. I know all to well that the winter will be filled with too many days home, in a row, that will prompt us to do ‘other things’ – maybe some of them will even look like ‘school work’.