7/30/13

It's Not About The Canopy . . .

This is not "the" canopy in question - but I have
to assume "the" canopy is equally horrifying.
A guest post, from a dear friend, who is a fantastic mother and who is a grown up in every sense of the word. Well . . . almost every sense. I feel your pain and the frustration and I love you, lady. Hope your house becomes HOME really, really soon. You deserve some peace and tranquility. 


I’ve been in the process of moving, it seems, for the past two years, but in earnest, for the past two weeks. I realize that much of moving is “hurry up and wait”, but after having my house on the market for a combined total of 14 months, I never expected to get an offer, accept said offer, and need to find a new place for my daughter and I to live in a grand total of three weeks. But it’s a good thing, right? This is what we’ve wanted all along, to be closer to school, to work, to friends. It’s a happy change!

It’s still change.

While Sean declares that I’m much too clean and well-groomed to be a hippie (he should really see me on my days off), I consider myself to be at least a love child, one for whom change is second nature and adaptability is a great strength. I can sleep nearly anywhere, I have virtually no shame, and at any given time at least a quarter of my possessions are in my car. It’s like I’m already moving, all the time. This just requires boxes.

After a few tense days of comparing the risks and benefits of a cardboard box versus moving back in with my parents, I found a place that was just far enough out of my price range to only keep me up half the night and close enough to the edge of town so that I could still have coffee on my deck in my pajamas. I made all the appropriate arrangements, packed liquor store boxes full of my kid’s toys, and actually hired movers, because, you know, you can only put your things in a horse trailer so many times.

I did the work. I signed the papers. I made all of the grown-up decisions and big-girl moves on my own, because I had to, and because I could.

Our new home is perfect. It is everything we could have asked for. Moving was absolute cake. We’re practically unpacked, and we haven’t even been there a week. So why, when talking to my mother on the phone about how we shouldn’t hang an ugly $30 pale pink canopy with a feather boa topper in my daughter’s bedroom, did I start to cry all the tears? It’s a feather boa canopy. We rent, we don’t put holes in the ceiling, and that makes perfect sense. Obviously, so does a full-on ugly cry while driving back to work after lunch.

But here’s what I realized – it’s not about the canopy. It was about making this easy on my daughter. This canopy was the only thing she wanted in the move – she would have given everything else just to keep this monstrosity that we found when looking for bedding at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. And yes – she’s four. She doesn’t even always pronounce canopy correctly – so why should a 30-year-old have a melt-down over one?

Because none of this was easy. Not one single thing. I’ve spent hours on the phone convincing people that there is actually a house where I say I live. I’m selling the home I bought on my own right after a painful divorce and kept despite losing a job and wanting so badly to run. I don’t know where my things are, my new place makes funny noises that I may actually have to look into, and I’m miles from the nearest friendly face. And for all of the incredibly generous offers of help I received, there was nothing anyone could do to help the fact that I was struggling. But if I could make this easy for my daughter, then everything would be fine.


We didn’t hang up the canopy. She finally asked about it at 8:30 on our first night, and I told her we hadn’t figured it out yet. She shrugged, turned back to My Little Ponies, and slept just fine in her canopy-free bed. And that, truly, was all I needed.