Strong Roots Don’t Come From Idle Hands

Since we moved here (it’s been over two weeks if you can believe it, almost three) I have been doing my best to keep busy. My husband and some friends have asked me why and I have always thought back to that phrase about “idle hands”. It didn’t occur to me until I Googled it, what the actual phrase actually was… “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop,”… and I didn’t like it so much. When I talk about keeping busy or not wanting to have “idle hands,” I relate it to despresion. I am sure a lot of people can tie depression into the devil and have a biblical dialogue, but what I tie it to is PPD (postpartum depression) and hormones.

After Preston was born I had PPD. It lasted a while until I got pregnant with Parker then I was flooded with all sorts of other hormones. After Parker was born, thankfully I was more aware of how to identify PPD and how to work on making myself feel better. But, ever since that time I had PPD, I have been ever so cautious about my behavior and anything that could lead to any form of depression. A big move and lots of change is a possible trigger for depression and I really don’t want to succumb to my emotions and let them eat me alive like they have before.

This leads me to the “idle hands” thing. I notice that when I have little to do or I don’t keep myself busy I can slip into a lonely, depressed state of sorts. I have been keeping myself busy. Between play dates, grocery shopping, visiting Ben at work for his lunches, cooking, going to the YMCA, getting more involved in moms groups online, etc. Over the past week and a half I have met like eight wonderful women that I hope to continue a friendship with. I have more appointments/play dates/coffee dates to meet more and I can’t be more excited. 

I am an extremely social person and when all I get to socialize with comes in the little three, two and soon to be one year old body it sure makes things lonely. I think the other reason why I am doing this is to create some roots for my little family. As weird as it sounds, I do believe in the African Proverb that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I want to create some stability for my kids because for the past six months they have been along for the ride. Thank God for their resilience and flexibility and forgiveness. My kids deserve the world, so I am going to try and get involved in our “village” so they know this is home.

I am extremely grateful for our “village” or community that I am building. All of them have been good to us and very kind. It makes me realize that what we had in CA was a different kind of “village”. It wasn’t really ours, it was my parents and Ben’s parents. We had our friends, but it’s not exactly the same. It was everything we had established under our parents and what we knew as children ourselves. The “village” we ere in, we established from our experiences with our parents or their ties to the community, or our siblings and their activities/experiences, and not what we really did on our own (outside of employment ties). This time around has been different because we get to rely solely on ourselves to build our life and our community relationships. It’s exciting and scary all in one.

While keeping myself busy we have been working on our own goals. Ben’s goals are a bit more career driven for the moment, but mine… I am getting to try and focus on me, the kids, our family. I got involved in Weight Watchers again. I love the YMCA so I can get my own energy out and feel like I am working my body for more than just wrangling children. I am getting involved in some Sunday fun too so I can keep busy on the weekend while Ben is working. I have several local moms groups I enjoy and even some ladies nights out and cooking groups. It’s just good all around. I feel my roots developing already.

I am very proud of myself for keeping busy and not allowing my hands to idle. But, I am even more excited to see where and how my family’s roots develop more. Now I get to continue to foster these relationships and “roots” I am building so we can allow our family to flourish too. How did you grow your roots? Where did you start (in church, online groups, sports clubs, etc.)? What are your tips to help grow community ties and make new friends?


It only took 3 Days

Our transfer to Texas was planned for months. Our move was planned for weeks. Our drive across three states was only a plan for about a week before we had to pack up our selves, three kids, two dogs and cram into one very stuffed minivan. Our drive was the last thing on our mind to be honest. We thought, what could possibly go wrong? It’s not like we have a choice at this point. We are expected to be in Texas by the end of day three. We gassed up the van, we prayed, and we ventured into the unknown.

Our first day was filled with excitement and the “plans” for the life we have ahead of us. This day was great. The driving was smooth. There was no traffic, a lot of desert and mountains, a long stretch of I-40 ahead of us. When we got to the hotel for the night we were pooped. The kids were all kinds of riled up. They needed to stretch their legs and get out some energy, so a hotel room was not something they were really interested in. I am go out to grab sandwiches across the street at the local Subway (which was all over our trip except in this town… thank God there was one lone location across the street from the hotel). As I am getting into the van to go back to the hotel Hubby calls frantic. I try to keep my composure because if Ben is scared this is a BIG problem.

I get back to the hotel lobby and the ambulance is there and paramedics surrounding my Peyton. It looks like he got into a fight with the nightstand separating the beds and he lost. After five hours in the local (again, thank God it was only three miles from the hotel) emergency room and six pretty intense stitches later he had a battle scar fit to flash around. I think I was the one who was more scarred than him though. At the end of the day he probably won’t remember it at all, but I will remember the torture of having to hold down my oldest child while he got stitches and screamed and cried through it all… I cried after with him. I don’t know how doctors and nurses can do that every day.

There have been very few occasions where I have hated being a parent. I hate it when I have to take them for their shots. I hate it when they are in full meltdown mode in plublic. I hate it when all they want to do is fight. But, this moment. The moment when he had at least a quarter of an inch deep, three quarters of an inch wide, two and a half inch long gaping hole being stitched up by a doctor at 10:30p after exhaustion, shock, and panic has taken over his little body… that is a moment I don’t wish on any mother or human being… EVER.

After five and a half hours of intermittent sleep we got up and ready to go for day two. Ben and I both told ourselves that it can only go up from here, which thankfully it did. We made it to New Mexico without a hitch. It was a beautiful ride too. The landscape totally resembled the Disney movie Cars. It was beautiful red and beige rock that surrounded us. The knee high bushes and occasional cactui were generously sprinkled over the dry dusty land. It was stunning and oddly peaceful. We encountered a few drivers who wanted to pick a fight over which lane was “theirs”. Overall the kids and the dogs made it through with minimal difficulty.

Dinner from Pizza Hut was a crowd pleaser, as always. It never fails to astonish me how resilient kids are in the midst of a huge transition. The topic of discussion that night was who got to hold the dogs leashes while they were walked and that Peyton had more pizza than Preston. We were thrilled to go to sleep early and the kids didn’t argue, which was a nice change of pace. However, the next morning we were back at the arguing and all was right with the world.

The third and final day of driving was the longest day. It was over eight hours of driving, not including stops for gas/food and bathroom breaks for the kids and the dogs. We hit the New Mexico/Texas border very early, but the whole of the trip was small roads. We were headed to a new friends house to drop off the dogs before we would consider ourselves done for the day. As a whole, the drive was perfect, but we did encounter one bump in the road.

In the state of Texas, it is a road infraction punishable by ticket/fine for you to linger in the left lane. The left lane is strictly used for passing. Once you have passed the vehicle(s) you must return to the right lane. Well, since it’s quite literally our first day officially in Texas as residents, we had no clue and got pulled over. After providing valid license and proof of insurance, and giving permission to search the vehicle if they wanted to (which was weird, but I suppose this is a common thing in Texas too), the cop let us off with a warning. We were grateful and back on the road. Being in some small town, on a small road, in a vehicle with out-of-state plates, packed to the brim with kids and chihuahuas… I guess it makes you a slightly suspicious character. **Whoops**

Finally about 8:30/9p at night we made it to our new friends home. The boys got out to play with their little boy. Ben got to chat with the man of the house, and I was able to visit with the lady of the house. It was nice to not feel alone our first night in a new place. We felt like we actually have friends. It’s been nice to have someone local to text and chat with about making plans or play dates. It just made Texas feel even more like home.

When we finally got in bed and wrapped in blankets, it took less than half a breath for us all to be asleep. Our trek was done. No more full days of driving. No more need to be at a destination before the end of the day. No more cruise control or pit stops. Now we are on to real life. Real TEXAS life.