Monday, December 31, 2012

Moving Day

Parents, you think the worst is behind you once you're past nighttime feedings and diapers, but just when you've sent your kids out on their own, a new responsibility appears:  helping them move.  During the college years, your child is likely to move once a year.  For me, that means sixteen possible moves. Ian has moved four times in two years.  This weekend was Brigid's third move in 18 months.  She was escaping a toxic mold situation in the apartment she and a roommate rented in August.

It was icing and sleeting as we left for Richmond on Saturday morning.  If it is moving day, it's moving day and you have to suck it up and go through with it no matter what the weather.  The ice turned to snow, and then rain.

I felt about 100 years old, especially when sitting in the U-haul, between the two young men who were to do most of the heavy lifting.  One of them came equipped with a green-painted hand and a two-liter bottle of Dr. Pepper.  The old apartment was accessed from an impossibly rickety wooden outdoor staircase.  The steps  wobbled crazily with every ascent and descent. Brigid and I carried the lighter things and I spent most of my time arranging everything as tightly as possible into the truck which was like doing a jigsaw puzzle with eighty-pound pieces.

The world's most dangerous deck.


Old apartment--it had charm.  It's too bad that the mold took hold.

New apartment.

It seemed like the longest day ever, but looking back, it was done efficiently.  By 4:00pm, every last 1/4 full ketchup bottle and stray sock was in the new apartment and the old one was clean with freshly-shampooed carpets. 

One thing we've learned since our kids went to college: there's a breed of landlords who specifically prey on students. Now the old landlady has put up a "For Rent" sign in front of a house that ought to be condemned.


  1. I remember well the scum landlords who prey on students. I don't look forward to having to deal with them as a parent.

  2. I lived in an attic apartment for six years of grad school, where at night you could hear the bats moving around in the walls. Every once in a while one of them came out and terrorized me and the other students who shared the lower two levels. Ah, the fun :-) Actually, I loved that attic apartment.

    I have a kid who's currently convinced she's going to live at home for the rest of her life.

  3. Ugh. I feel for you! And what is it with Richmond and those rickety decks? It's like a third-world country. Our next moving day will happen in June, but I'm already dreading it. I also blame the scum landlord for my kid's plan to move back home when she graduates.

  4. Since my son plans to escape to the west coast for college I anticipate I won't be called on for any moving help.

    Every landlord I've ever had has kept most of my security deposit, and it's not because I didn't clean thoroughly. They do it because they can get away with it.

  5. Cassi, my son had bats in one of his student apartments. He had to block them from getting into his bedroom by rolling up a towel under a closet door.

    Fragmentary results, my daughter is a 2nd year student and she has just one friend in her year who still lives in the dorms. This is a big state school that doesn't require even first years to live in the dorms. We missed the dorm application deadline, so our daughter has always been in off-campus housing, which, despite it's many problems, is cheaper than the dorms.

    annie, I'm sorry you've had such issues with landlords. They're awful!

    NB, we're still waiting for the security deposit on the mold house, which wasn't all that great when they moved in. And they can get away with it because who has the time or energy for small claims court? Especially if you have to drive a long way to get to court. With Ian in school 400 miles from home, I only participated in two of his four moves.

  6. Cassi Renee and Patience, bats? OMG. I haven't had to deal with moving children yet...but I did spend a number of years myself in off-campus apartments. This makes Isla Vista look like a luxury village.

  7. In Chicago they had several wooden decks collapse so the city made landlords rebuild them all. You are a nice mom to help in the moving.

  8. Out of all the landlords our college students have had, the most recent one --for the little blue trim house on a corner in their college town--has the best. Yes, the others were complete losers. Moving Day. Still doing it. Last child has 3 1/2 more years of college.