My children are pleasantly surprised when they see the new house and neighborhood. They are city kids at heart. Although a bicycle is stolen from the garage within moments of our arrival, the perpetrators taking advantage of moving men preoccupied with something going on inside the house, the children walk to the hardware store for some extra surge protectors and to the deli around the corner for something to eat. There is something strangely re-assuring about cracked pavement and graffiti, even the theft. You get used to the sirens and lights of city life.
Then the children are off – one of them to begin his new job in Manhattan, the other two to spend some time at the beach with my in-laws – and it is just my wife and me again. The two of us quickly settle into a routine, reading the newspaper every morning at the coffee shop a block over, and I can’t help thinking how things have come full circle: Come mid-August we will be living together just the two of us for the first time in over twenty years.
Preoccupied with the unpacking, we go for two days without talking to another person we know as the house we plan begins to take shape. Then the phone calls begin again, and we ease into the new normal.
Although my wife has always welcomed change (her husband is the one thing she has never changed, she tells people), she promises that this will be our last move ever. I am thinking this time it just might be true.