I've asked a lot of Brenna and Daniel over the last six months or so. First they had to move in together. Then they had to give up their beds. We brought in a set of bunk beds to get more floor space. Brenna's on top. Daniel's on the bottom. I think that arrangement is working okay. They talk a while before falling asleep and sometimes Brenna wakes Daniel on her way out in the morning. But this weekend, Brenna asked me if she could share a room with Carrie instead. I told her we'd consider it if our house hasn't sold by the end of the school year.
Daniel had taken the brunt of packing up until the week after Christmas. By my estimation, he and I have more of our personal belongings packed up and stored than anyone else. That's probably because we're at home and can make those decisions. Plus Daniel thinks it's fun to pack boxes. He would probably pack his pillow and all of his underwear if I let him. He also had to give up two drawers of his dresser to Carrie. He did it willingly, but now his drawers are so full they don't close easily. Or at all. That drives him crazy. But he doesn't blame Carrie. He just keeps slamming the drawers.
New Years Eve day we had our last showing of 2010. Not surprisingly we were dreading the first call after Christmas. Friends of ours had loaned us their steam cleaner while they were out of town so we had been steadily working through all the carpets. Additionally, we had bags, boxes and stacks of Christmas gifts from four different Christmas celebrations sitting in piles all over the house. Our tree was down and the decorations put away, but things were not back in order at all.
We've known moving would involve sacrifice. I'm not sure we counted the cost high enough. In order to find places for all the new toys and clothes, we took about 5 more boxes full out of Brenna and Daniel's room. Everything now fits under their bed or in their closet. There are no baskets with 'odds and ends' left. Brenna even gave up her desk. We set her writing center (plastic 3 drawers) on the shelf in the closet and put the desk chair inside so she'd be able to reach. Then we put the desk in the attic. When we show the house, we move her bed ladder against the wall so that it doesn't stick out in the middle of the room. Those changes have eliminated the full/cluttered feel, I think, but the kids have given up a lot.
All of this is just stuff. And I know that. It's probably going to be a good lesson in the end. It wouldn't surprise me if when we unpack it all one day they don't even want to keep a lot of it. Some of it will be like finding long lost treasures, but I bet some of it isn't even missed.
In the meantime, I've been very proud of the attitudes Brenna and Daniel have had over all we've asked of them. I haven't had to force anyone to pack anything. Neither of them have whined about doing without for a while. And even when they are bummed that something they want is packed - like Daniel's race track or Brenna's books - they let it go really quickly and move on. Every time we have an open house or a showing, they pitch in and help get things done. Some of their "help" has to be redone.... as in when Daniel clears his bedroom floor by shoving all loose clothing under his dresser... but they know the goal and are definitely trying to get us there. They even like our realtor and when too much time has passed since we've seen her, they start begging to go see another house so they can see Ms. Christy.
We keep praying this won't last much longer, but we prefer to be on God's schedule not ours. As much as I want to move, there aren't any appealing houses coming in. Since there's nothing exciting to choose from, I'm content to stay here for a while longer. Either that or we're about to start compromising on our wish list.
O maybe we'll just lay out a US map and let Carrie pick a state...