As we watched most of our earthly possessions get loaded onto a moving truck, we couldn’t help but notice just now much stuff we have. Boxes full of all sorts of items belonging to all members of our family became pieces in a real life Tetris game, the movers making sure that each box and piece of furniture fit just right in the truck that was headed up to Michigan to pick up another load that would also be headed to Texas. Then we watched as all of our stuff was packed into a 30 foot storage unit with very little space to spare. I was awed and slightly embarrassed by the amount of stuff that we possess and as we started to look at houses, I mentally sorted through the items that were placed in the storage unit, trying to determine which items would need to go to fit into a smaller house.
And every day for the last week, we have left and returned to our 30 foot long camper, a maximum of 300 square feet replacing the nearly 4000 square feet that we had in our last house.
I’ll be honest: I don’t miss the stuff, I miss the space.
I am an introvert. My daughter is an introvert. My husband is a borderline introvert. I’m still trying to figure out our son. And our sweet dog loves to run. We are a family of individuals who fiercely love each other but often need to love each other from the next room. My daughter is known to leave the whole family for the comfort of her bedroom, closing the door for quiet time of Lego building, reading, playing with dolls, or drawing. I enjoy writing from the dining room table while the kids play in the next room. My husband enjoys reading on his own chair or space on the couch (although that time is often interrupted after we all get home from school and work and the kids want to pile on top of him). My son has also been known to close his bedroom door so he can play with all of his figurines in his own little world. We like our space and often my husband and I need our own space to get work done. Our daughter needs space to work on homework during the school year. And everyone needs space to play.
When it comes to stuff, right now I have everything that I need. I have my laptop, books for school, a TV (our RV resort has cable included), cooking appliances, and clothes for play and work. Our kids have enough toys, books, and art supplies to keep them occupied. My husband has his tablet for reading, his laptop for work and play, and all the clothes that he needs.
But we need our space.
My husband and I both need a quiet place to work and our “bedroom” doesn’t cut it. Our kids need a bedroom door to close and at least keep out the dog, but all they have is a curtain. The dog needs her crate and has taken to hiding in it, but then the crate is in everyone else’s way. My husband has taken to working on our bed when I haven’t left with the kids for my classroom. And then last night our son had a complete meltdown. The move has been rougher on him than we expected and after a full day of random tears, screaming, and generally abusive behavior towards our daughter, I kept him “home” while my husband took our daughter out shopping for some items we needed. It also gave them some time away from each other. While our son sobbed about how much he wanted to move back to “Indianana” and how much he didn’t like Texas I worked to calm him down enough so that he could actually talk to me. When he was finally able to talk to me he told me that he missed his house, his bedroom (and bedroom door), and his playset. He missed Indianana campgrounds that have things to do, including playgrounds. And he just wanted to get away.
Yeah, we miss the space. The kids haven’t mentioned their missing toys that often but they have missed the ability to get away from each other. I have to admit, that is what I miss most as well. We are hoping to have space soon as we work through the loan process now that we have an accepted offer on a house. Until then, we will keep working to find ways to give all of us room to leave each other alone, even if it is finding our own little corner of our camper.