When finally the day of the move came Baddy and I were tapped out, both emotionally and physically. We were saved by family, beginning with Baddy’s parents who drove in from Denver to help us pack up the remainder of our belongings. I thought I was so organized with every box carefully marked but by the time Frank and Barbara walked in I was slumped between boxes twitching and ready to shoot my tape gun at anything that moved.
With renewed energy we finished up the last minute packing which was far more than we had bargained for. The remaining boxes were labeled, “Crap, crap and more crap”.
Earlier a neighbor had come by with the most deliciously comforting Martha Stewart Mac and Cheese dish. I had been holding up well until she pointed out the enormous cloud shaped like an angel that was hovering over Mt. Sopris outside our window. She told me that it must be a sign that our family was being watched over. I broke down hoping that this was true.
As the last box was loaded onto the truck I turned and locked the door saying goodbye to some of the best years of our life and set off down the road, scraping the gravel driveway with our low riding vini-man packed with everything we might need for the changing mountain weather.
“We’re here,” I announced walking into Michele’s house feeling like a tiny Who from Who-ville needing to be heard.
When Baddy and I found out that there was a twelve day lapse between moving out of our house and into our rental we made the decision to ask Michele and Jim if they would take us in. They said yes without batting an eyelash. Now that is what I call love …and generosity.
Of course being family and all they had to say yes but their offer to let us in was sincere not obligatory and we were immensely grateful. Not wanting to impose, I had been talking to Baddy about pitching an Aspen REAL Life mini-series to my favorite Staycation resort in trade for stay at their hotel but he insisted that appealing to family was a far more sensible choice. It’s good to be married to somebody who grounds you. It’s also good to have family who loves you.
It was difficult to ask, but we weren’t alone in the asking. According to a new Pew Research Center report, “More than 51 million Americans now live under one roof with multiple generations of family. That number, up from 46.5 million in 2007, represents the largest increase in multigenerational households in modern U.S. history. Unemployment is the biggest driver of the trend. About 6.9 million of America’s multigenerational homes consist of two adult generations, such as an adult child returning home to his or her parents. Another 4.2 million households contain three generations or more, while about 857,000 consist of grandparents caring for a grandchild.”
Before moving in, big movies dealing with reunions came to mind like Family Stone and The Big Chill and I began to look forward to quality time spent with my sister, bro-in-law (as I like to call him) and nieces and nephews. But when I entered the door loaded with bags, I got worried. As much as we all love being together, this was no holiday and my thoughts of cozy mornings spent bonding over large cups of coffee were delusional. Michele was in the middle of midterms and there were differing kid schedules to be managed. I was determined to not let the “Loud” family, as Michele likes to lovingly call us, cause complete disruption.
The boys did their best to reign in their energy and I worked hard to keep life going on as usual lest despair and anxiety set in. Muki didn’t help much with her territorial growling and barking. How was I going to teach her that it was she who was the intruder?
But surprisingly a nice flow developed with the two families uniting and Michele and I had a nice rapport joining forces in the kitchen every morning to begin our dance of making breakfast and packing lunch boxes. It wasn’t easy to figure out lunch menus that would be met with unanimous enthusiasm but somehow we managed to succeed. As for breakfast, I took notes on Michele’s incredibly healthy smoothies that the children all actually loved despite the flax seed and coconut oil. Everything tasted better when Auntie Michele was at the helm. Dinner times were spent getting caught up on lost times and the oldest cousin, Devon, seemed to actually like having bodies attach themselves to him the minute he walked through the door. He had no problem shaking them off the minute he opened his intimidating high-school homework. As for spats, they didn’t last long with sweet girls there to break up any tension.
On the second day of our stay Jim cheerily announced, “Two days in and all is well.” Our life was in a state of disarray and I couldn’t find my underwear, but I appreciated his positivity and as I looked at him all bright eyed and bushy tailed I felt tremendous love.