I have been busy, busy. I added two new students to my teaching schedule. I completed a couple of huge tasks for my local piano teacher's association--I did the scheduling for the 250 students who will participate in our Federated Festival at the end of this month, and also planned rehearsal schedules and ordered music for the 150 students who will perform in our Ensemble Concert at the end of April. I cleaned out my closet, getting rid of (almost) everything that doesn't fit or make me feel great--five big bagfuls of clothes. Casey had major surgery--happily, the surgery went well, and he is doing fine. John came to visit; I took him to a party where he met one of my oldest (meaning one I have known the longest--sorry, Beth!) friends, AND I took him to meet my hairdresser, which was a HUGE risk, because if Jody hadn't approved, John would have been history. (Hey, Jody has never steered me wrong--not with my hair, and not anywhere else.) AND I LEARNED HOW TO KNIT SOCKS! But I will come back to that in a minute.
In the middle of all this craziness, John and I were going back and forth, back and forth. Night after night after night. Should he move down with the kids in January--assuming he could work out the legalities--or should he stay in New York until his house sold/school was out/he landed his dream job? Our heads told us to wait. Our hearts told us to hurry. JOHN'S KIDS told us to hurry.
Then complications arose. I panicked. I have been single for a LONG TIME--almost eight years. And there are things I LIKE about being single. I'm not one of those people who has to be with somebody to feel complete. I rather enjoy my own company, thank you very much. Casey, Nathan and I have grown quite comfortable with our routine. Why rock the boat? I work hard and have a lot of responsibility. Why take on more?
My head told me to call the whole thing off. My heart thought better of it. John's kids, my kids, watched and waited.
This morning, as I was driving to the post office on a piano teacher's association related mission--and talking to John--I really started to sweat it. How are seven people, two dogs, and fifty piano students and their families going to co-exist in a 1600 square foot home? I wanted to make sure his kids know what they are getting into. I mean, MY kids have grown accustomed to a harried, preoccupied mother and all matter of strangers all over their house. I told him his kids need to sign AN OATH. Preferably in blood. Instead, he asked them to raise their right hands and solemnly swear: (1) to maintain a sense of humor in the most adverse circumstances; (2) to uncomplainingly live in close quarters with little or no privacy; (3) to happily go to the dollar theatre instead of the regular movie theatre, to eat in rather than eat out, to generally make lemonade out of lemons; (4) to cheerfully scrub the bathrooms with their toothbrushes--daily for a month--if ever found in violation of this agreement. I didn't actually hear the swearing-in, because I arrived at the post office with not a moment to spare, but John assures me that his three children were in full compliance, although Sean wasn't sure what a dollar theatre is. As I was driving home, I asked his children to additionally swear that they would never, ever get sick--but John told me that they take their oaths very seriously, so wouldn't agree to something that was beyond their control. I have to say, I found that very impressive.
So, in the end, our hearts--and John's kids--won. They will pull into our driveway late tonight. The boys and I are doing our best to get ready for them; we will probably be working until the moment they arrive.
And this is how we made our decision. We realized that when we are apart, everything seems complicated and overwhelming and confusing. Because it is! But when we are together, everything seems manageable. Because it is. Being together FEELS GOOD. Go with the flow and all that. It sounds corny, but I feel AT PEACE when I am with John. I firmly believe that, together, we will be able to face any challenge. Combine and conquer.
And there is the fact that, when I am with John, I feel like I am the most important person in the world. It has been that way from the first moment I laid eyes on him.
As I said, the four of them--John, Annie, Val and Sean--are going to be here TOMORROW--and eventually I will make socks for them. But first, I have to finish the baby socks I started in class on Saturday. I will post a picture of my first effort--in progress--tomorrow.