On August 20, 2015, I woke up bright and early with my mom and sisters and we drove to the airport. Our girls trip to Park City was coming to a somber end. Once there, we checked my bags, and I walked through security, waving to them until I turned the corner, fighting back tears. 37 weeks pregnant and hoping no one would stop me from getting on the plane. Also slightly hoping that they would. This was the moment my life changed completely, and while I had been gearing up toward it for several months, it was overwhelming to think it was finally here.
On the plane I sat next to a nice man who shared his life story and his love for Britney Spears with me. I wanted to look out the window as we landed to see my new home, but I listened politely, and he told me I would be a good mom because I was a good listener.
My reunion with Alex was sweet, and it made the anxiety I was having toward the move lessen a bit. At least I had him. He drove me to our house and told me all about the different roads and how to get here and there and where the construction was and I found myself fighting back tears again, because how was I supposed to remember all that? How was I supposed to start this whole new life in such a foreign place?
I cried myself to sleep for three nights. Our house was small, but not as small as I had pictured. I found solace in putting things away and washing baby clothes while watching Gilmore Girls for hours. Normally at this point in the year I would be getting my classroom ready for my fourth graders, labeling notebooks and crayons, day dreaming during teacher meetings. I didn’t have any friends. Alex had work. We only had one car. I looked up some birthing classes.
A few weeks later I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen, in a hospital I had just barely toured, with a doctor I had never met, because the one I had a few appointments with before hand went off duty 20 minutes before he was born. It was one of the best experiences in my life.
Before we decided to move to Indiana, Alex and I had a conversation about moving somewhere away from our friends and family. “We’re so comfortable here,” I said, “I think that’s why we have to go.” We chose Purdue, and I felt so so so good about it. As I told Alex I knew it was right, I cried and said, “Just because I know it’s right, doesn’t mean I won’t be a little bit sad about it.”
It’s been a year. A year of complete change. No more teaching, no more Utah, no more Sunday dinners at home. No more childless vacations and eating out. No more mountains. No more churches around every corner. No more I-15. No more desert heat, or inversion and the sky thick with smog. No more change in scenery every 100 miles.
It’s been a year. A year of new friends becoming our family. Full of becoming a stay at home mom, enjoying my baby boy every day. Green green trees and grass, enough rain that we don’t need sprinklers. My own garden and home to take care of. Fireflies in the summer. Long hours in the lab for Alex. Long nights in the rocking chair for me. The only life Nathan has ever known.
I know my way around those streets Alex explained to me the first day. I can get nearly any place without asking Siri. I look forward to the green green trees turning colors in the fall that the trees in the mountains in Utah never see. I’m ready for Nathan’s first birthday because to me, it symbolizes so much. We’ve made it! We made it a year, when I thought it might be too hard. It has been hard, but it’s also be so good.
We were comfortable where we were, it was time for a change, we made the right choice.