ParentingTravel

Temporary Housing, Risky Play, and an Emergency Room

Tree of Life

Going from the 2000 square foot house with almost an acre of private fenced backyard on a creek that’s been home for 6 years to a tiny sterile apartment with none of your personal belongings is a challenge with 3 wild and free homeschooling boys in tow.

We’re halfway through our month in corporate housing and this evening has hammered home some lessons for me.

Nature

Nature is fucking awesome. And breathtakingly beautiful. And fun. Exploring new nature is beyond what I had hoped.

PNW Beach

History

A whole new history we get to discover from this new vantage point! I’m soaking in every new nugget.

Home Buying

House Hunters lies and the home buying process is bat shit crazy.

People

People are also awesome. Yes, sometimes you come up against an asshole in life but everywhere I turn they are surprising me with loving, kind, supportive connection. Friendship cup is full. Connection is my coffee.

Love and Happiness

Love and happiness is a choice you can make even under circumstances that could be framed as incredibly stressful. I have found this to be especially true in marriage. It would be so easy to be lazy and slip into self-preservation and turn on each other. But we trust each other and we love hard and no matter what storm comes, at least we can be happy together while it rains.

Minimalism

We are definitely not hoarders and we pride ourselves on being very intentional with our belongings yet living out of a suitcase for weeks has shown me just how little stuff the kids really do use. Even the couple toys we did bring just sit on the closet floor for the most part. They really do rely on their bodies and creativity for play.

Space

We really don’t need much in the way of belongings to thrive but this crew very much does need space, indoors and out. We need room to run naked and free in the dirt and parkour in the house.

And spaces have souls. Or they don’t. We long for that surrounding spirit of love and comfort that tells the cells in our body that we are home. Some things in a home that serve little to no practical purpose are missed in nonspecific ways when they are gone.

Tree of Life

 

Risky Play

Speaking of parkour, so much of their personal growth springs from risky play. I always held the intention of holding space for these kids to be free to get to know themselves, the world, and their abilities there within, even when surrounded by people and a culture that is constantly pressuring you as a parent to wall them into your own expectations. But I had no idea just how much that was a part of who they are and how they are until the world closed in.

Rope Swings in Trees

West’s favorite activity in this place is to climb onto the dresser, jump over his brothers onto the floor bed (family bed/floor beds/co-sleeping shout out!), then launch across the room flipping onto the big bed. Hundreds of times he has gleefully engaged this maneuver, adjusting the course and skills to match what he learns as he goes. This morning that included standing another mattress on it’s side along the wall and leaping onto the edge of that as the finale.

“I’m noticing this mattress is precariously balanced. Do you feel that swaying?”

“That’s why I’m standing on this end, away from the table.”

(I have to be honest, much of the time I have to consciously breathe through my own anxieties that stem from my own childhood baggage and look away. I cried when my hand touched dirt as a child and “thrill” was not a word in my vocabulary. I blame my husband completely for this DNA. But this is the given spirit of my child and I will honor it if it kills me.)

ER
Arrrrrr first trip to the Seattle emergency room.

Emergency Room

Now, I know where you think this is going. But ironically, this activity is NOT what landed us in the emergency room this evening.

After his play died down I asked him to go into that bedroom to get some socks so we could get ready to go to dinner. He walked into the room, tripped, slammed his face on the corner of the nightstand, and busted his adorable little face right open, just above his eye.

Walking across a carpeted bedroom to get a pair of socks . . .

For me, this experience has called into question some guilt. Now, I talk all about guilt in the Sage Parenting book. I know it well and have a harmonious relationship with that old friend most of the time. But when any of my children have to go through any sort of tribulation, I question, thanks to the pull of that old friend, where I went wrong leading up to that moment. This questioning is healthy, but I accepted more deeply tonight the nature of my children as autonomous beings for whom I must be there with love and support and not as property or reflections of myself for the world to judge that I am responsible for keeping shiny.

I’ve believed wholeheartedly (because my children have taught me to) in the benefits of risky play since becoming a mother so the lesson here for me wasn’t specific to the play itself. The lesson was more profound than even that. The longer I’m a mother, the more I see how little control I have over the outcome. That is simultaneously scary and freeing.

The minute we got home from the hospital West was flipping around the house again (you can watch a video of these shenanigans here from Instagram), laughing with his brothers (the blood on the sheets barely dry).

“I didn’t get hurt being a ninja warrior. I got hurt getting socks. I shouldn’t wear socks anymore.”

Lesson learned.

Dash Point State Park

Highlights

  • Finding a house we love
  • My husband’s new job being super cool
  • Dash Point State Park and Beach
  • Jubilee Farms
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • New friends

Stay Tuned

A couple more weeks here and we are off to a beach house on the Hood Canal with buoy tree swings and kayaks and even if we have no pillows or blankets and are a ferry boat ride away from civilization, I am thirsty for more learning about us through new experiences. Hopefully those experiences won’t involve any more hospital visits. Who am I kidding? I’ll strap a helmet on them, discuss what we notice/wonder (more on that in the Sage Parenting book), and hope for the best.

2 thoughts on “Temporary Housing, Risky Play, and an Emergency Room

  1. My 4 year old has asked to watch the video one more time about 20 times so far. I can relate with so much of this, especially the lesson…I have two boys and a baby girl who is determined to keep up with them. We were in temporary housing with my husband’s work not long ago. I love your co-sleeping setup. We moved twin beds to the foot of a couch in order for us to co-sleep while in in the temp. house!

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