Thursday, February 20, 2014

making moves

Milo is passed out in his crib, Elliott is eating the rind of my grapefruit, and I'm sitting here, trying not to panic.  It's not working.

Over the past few weeks, Ben and I have been crunching numbers.  Arguing, then huffing away.  Having long and important talks and then hugging each other like we're drowning and repeating "Its...good.  Its going to be good." a la Tobias Funke.  Making lists and sending out e-mails.  Looking at each other and saying "I just don't know.  What do you think?"

We're not sure if we can move.

IT'S THE YEAR OF MOVE!  It's the one word that defines the entire YEAR.  It's something we've been terrified of and we finally took the plunge without ever once considering that anything was holding us back besides our own fears.  But there are a few other things.  Like money.  We spend a CONSIDERABLE (read: more than ALL other expenses) amount of money on daycare every month.  Enough that it would more than double what we could afford for a mortgage payment if we waited until daycare wasn't an expense anymore.

So do we wait?  What does it mean to wait?

Daycare expenses might change, based on Milo's speech therapy and assistance he qualifies for next year.  Today I sat in on one of his sessions for the first time since going back to work.  I forgot how stressful it is, to sit and hold my breath and pray he behaves and follows her directions.  Almost none of his work is about speech anymore.  It's all "adult-directed practice" and "social skills."  He definitely isn't going to ace his one year reevaluation testing session in April.  But what else will happen?  Will he qualify for public preschool and be on an IEP?  3 days a week or five?  If he doesn't qualify, does he stay in his home daycare setting, or do I push for something more structured?  What would that cost?  How does that work?

Ben and I sat around after the therapist left and tried to make sense of everything.  It's such a small thing in the big picture, where exactly he'll be when he hits the magical 2.9 age where all the services stop- but will he be somewhere where he can get what he needs?  Aside from the worry of that, it's pretty clear that we can't guarantee that we'll be in a situation to move, or have any extra wiggle room financially.  As gut-wrenching as it is, we might actually be in a spot where we'll be paying MORE.  

So no.  We can't move.  Not right now, and not for awhile.

My mind is reeling.  Ben's, too.  We were moving for more space and to feel more comfortable.  If that's on hold, at least we can try to find ways to achieve those things where we are.  Take better care of our home, spiff it up, use the vertical space, make our porch 4-season, buy a dishwasher.  Carpet the living room.  Spring for better toy storage.  Then it spirals into add a second story?  Refinish the basement?  Dig a moat? Buy a dragon?  Does this become our forever castle?  We are big talkers, cautious thinkers, rare doers.  I don't know how to come up with something that makes everyone happy and is actually doable.  I don't know how to do anything besides ramble my heart out about this.

I'm still scared and frustrated.  I love this neighborhood very much, but it was going to be so simple to leave it behind and start over somewhere fresh.  I know this is going to happen for many years, so now I need to start making SOME sort of move.  Our house can be more functional, and it has to be, now that we've stopped assuming that we're going to be leaving it behind any day now.

If you made it this far, I commend you.  This was purely for me to let it all fly out through my fingertips, and this post is wordy even with me holding back and leaving out all my fears about how to set up the best learning environment for Milo.  Even though our plans have shifted, the word of the year is still MOVE.  Now we're just getting a move on right in our own home.

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