Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Pain of Moving

It's Sunday evening, just after 7:30pm. Tonight, I write my dadlosophies post from the public confines of a relatively quiet Books-a-Million. Normally, I would be sitting at my office desk or outside my house. But, this week, I don't have Internet access at home. No standard high-speed; no convenient wi-fi. That's because, just a few days ago, my family and I tackled a commonly undertaken, yet always dreaded endeavor. Hundreds of thousands of Americans do it every day. Almost all of whom find themselves pushed to the point of insanity and struggling against urges to turn to alcohol or narcotics for comfort before the task is complete. I am talking, of course, about moving. Packing up an entire household and moving to a new home is nothing short of a hellish experience that ranks just below unanesthetized castration and listening to George Michael CDs on the list of human suffering.

Meredith and I have moved many times. Before we had kids, we moved from apartments, to town homes, to houses. In 2002, we moved from Charlotte to Atlanta. A year later we moved with our baby daughter to Marietta. Then, buying our first home in Georgia, we set up shop in Kennesaw, where we've lived for the last five years. It was while living in Kennesaw that our two boys were born. And now we've moved to Powder Springs. It's only twenty minutes away, but--short distance or long--having to move all your crap is still having to move all your crap. It takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a whole lot of cardboard boxes.

This is the first move we've made with three kids. Let me tell you, as children multiply, so does the crap; and I'm not just talking about the kind you find in their diapers. The items that must be packed and transplanted are unending: Clothes, toys, cribs, beds, games, bikes, thousands of sippy cups, coloring books, barrels of play-dough, and so on, and so on, and so on. And God help you if you "accidentally" throw away a plastic toy that's been sitting behind a couch unplayed with for two years. I learned the hard way that deciding to discard such objects on the basis that they haven't been missed in twenty-four months is almost as brilliant as General Custer's "I'm sure there's not that many Indians over there," line of reasoning. Nope, if your kids see it, you're most likely packing it. And that's just the children's stuff. It doesn't even include all of your wife's stuff, your stuff, appliances, pictures, furniture... The list is overwhelming. It's enough to make a man reject worldly possessions and move to a Tibetan monastery. (Yak's milk, anyone?)

Thank goodness for the professional movers we hired. Sure, some of them weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer (when I pointed out to them that they had forgotten to load my television, they looked at me like I had just rushed through explaining a calculus problem). But, overall, they were nice, respectful, and did all the heavy lifting. So I'm grateful for the job they did.

Long story short, we survived the move. Now begins the challenging process of unpacking. Who knows what long lost items or undiscovered bodies will turn up. Right now, I'd just settle for finding my can opener. Staring at a pantry of canned goods and having no clue where your can opener is while three kids chant, "We want Spaghetti O's, we want Spaghetti O's!" is a cruel torture right out of a Twilight Zone episode. Anyway, wish me luck. Books-a-Million is closing. So, as much as I hate to rush, I've got to wrap it up this week. Take care my fellow dads. I'll be back next week. Provided I can find my router.

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