You know that saying, "Bloom Where You Are Planted"? I really felt like our family was doing that. I felt like we had been Planted at Camp Tecumseh (see my posts about how we ended up there back in 2011 here and here). Ben had a job that he truly loved, and his work was bringing great good to countless other people. I also had a job that I loved, working as the teen librarian at the Monticello Public Library. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was bringing "great good," but the kids did refer to me as the "cool librarian," so I must have been doing something right. :) As for my own kids, they loved their schools and had wonderful friends with awesome parents. We had a wonderful friends both at camp and in the Delphi community. Life was good. Not perfect (it never is), but really good. Yes, we were blooming.
And then a storm came that lifted us up by our roots, swirled us around, and blew us far from the field where we had been planted.
It's a long story that I'm not sure I even fully understand, much less can explain to all of you. In its simplest form, we learned partway through the summer that Ben's position was no longer going to exist at camp in its current form, so since there was no longer a job for him, we would need to leave camp at the end of the summer. The whole situation was devastating for our entire family, and I still have a very difficult time talking about it. Camp was and is home to us in so many ways. Liam and Aiden (and even Shay, in many respects) don't remember living anywhere else. But it's more than that. Camp is what we actively chose over everything else that the world had to offer. It's been the home of my heart since I was 11 years old. To be sent away from that.... well, it's pain like I can't describe.
What made it even worse (if "worse" was even possible when discussing terms of leaving the place I love most on earth) was that we moved to camp from Indianapolis and decided to return to Indianapolis, because we figured that Indy held Ben's best chances of finding a job. (Because this news was sudden and he had no job prospects lined up for after camp ended. Thankfully, he does now have a job. It's an hour's drive from where we ended up living, but it's a job. Thank God!) But the schools in Indy are on a "balanced calendar." Which meant that from the day that we got the news that we'd be out of both a job and a house (because our house was owned by camp) at the end of the summer, we had less than two weeks to pull ourselves together, decide where in Indy to move, find a house, pack up everything we owned, register our kids for school, and make the actual move. Did you catch that? Less than two weeks. Maybe there are times in my life that I have been more stressed, but none are coming readily to mind. Combine all of this with the fact that I was constantly sobbing by heart out over leaving camp, and it was definitely not a pretty picture.
But we did it. We spent the first week deciding on a game plan. Then Ben took one day off work and we came down to Indy and spent that day looking at rental houses. We rented the best house that was available that day (and was available for near-immediate move-in). That was a Wednesday. We returned to Delphi. I worked through the end of the week. We packed like crazy people. Ben worked all weekend. One of our dear friends took our kids into Lafayette (in our car) for a day of fun so that I could pack undisturbed, and they ended up being the second car in a five-car pile-up. Thank God, everyone came out uninjured, but the car had to be totaled. Somehow, someway, we made it through all of this.
We moved on Monday. We unloaded a U-Haul into the rental house. Ben returned to Delphi that night and went back to work on Tuesday. I registered the girls for school on Tuesday, and they started school the next day, Wednesday. And then it was full-steam ahead into our new life.
It was just the kids and me for an entire month before Ben found a job in Indy and was able to come and join us. Let me tell you, that was a long and insanely stressful month. It was filled with unpacking boxes, learning new schedules, and finding my way around a new city (we're on the opposite side of Indy from where we lived before). But most of all, it was full of missing Ben and missing camp. Now Ben's here, but the feeling of missing camp hasn't gone away. Maybe it never will.
With all of that being said, I think our family is doing well in Indy. He likes his new job. While it's not saving the world, he enjoys the "mental puzzles" that it presents. And he's making a paycheck that actually pays the bills, which is a really luxurious feeling. I'm home with the kids for the time being and joke that my new career is "full-time box-unpacker." While I really, really miss working at the library, I do love getting to spend time with Aiden especially. I had time at home with all the other kids when they were little, but never with Aiden--I was babysitting other kids from literally the day he was born, and then I went back to full-time work when he was six months old. I actually thought I'd never be at home with him, so this time really is a precious gift to get to know my baby in a way that I never would have had a chance to do otherwise. The girls love their elementary school, and Liam loves his preschool. It has been wonderful to reconnect with old friends and enjoy all that Indy has to offer.
So for us, I guess, the saying should be "Bloom Where You're Transplanted."