Monday, August 17, 2015


Seamus got a job as a bus boy at a restaurant in our neighborhood.  They hired him on the spot ("you can start tomorrow,") something I thought only happened in the movies.  It couldn't be more convenient.  It's a short walk or bike ride from our house and since he's been considering a career as a chef, he might as well get an inside view of the restaurant business.  One wants one's children to work, so I am glad he has a job, yet it's also bittersweet to see him going off to work and spending less time at home.

The other big change is that Grace moved away from home this past weekend.  She is living in Richmond with her best friend, and with Brigid. (Or, Brigid will be living there when she returns from Switzerland in a few weeks.)  I'm happy that they're living together.  I like to think it will be like an Elizabeth Jane Howard novel!  Grace plans to enroll as a transfer student at VCU, but she is deferring enrollment for one year and is going to work for now and figure out what she wants to study next year.

Brigid has one semester to complete before she'll have her bachelor's degree.  She will be returning to school in the spring and will be teaching art during the fall semester, and also working in a lab at MCV.  She has been working at the camp in Switzerland since mid-June.

Anyway, it feels very strange around here with Grace gone.  We now have only one child at home! Our house is old-fashioned and the bedrooms all lead off of one another instead of being isolated cells as bedrooms are now.  Back when all four kids were still at home, the upstairs was like a cozy hive of sleepers every night.  I could hear my children's breathing from my own room, and it was so peaceful to know that everybody was safe in bed.  I miss that, but it's normal and expected for our children to grow up and move away.

The move itself went well, although there were some bleak moments when it looked like we would never get all of Grace and her friends' things to fit in the U-haul.  But then Jon took over.  He is the grand supreme when it comes to efficiently packing a U-haul.  We had to partially unload and reload the truck, but in the end everything fit with room to spare. In Richmond, there was more consternation when a road we needed was closed and the detour required an impossible left turn onto a busy street and then we ended up going the wrong way down a one-way street and had to back the U-haul and get myself facing in the right direction, which I couldn't do so Jon had to get behind the wheel while I stood in the road and guided.  Then there was no parking in front of the building,  but Grace's friend discovered the alley behind the building where we could park all three vehicles and unload them with relative ease.

Moving in 

And, and (I admit I am the tiniest bit excited about this) we now have a spare room!  Would it be unseemly to start re-decorating immediately?  I thought I would do nothing right away but vacuum the dust bunnies, but by the middle of Sunday afternoon, I had already started demolishing a wall.  (Not a real wall, just a stupid partition wall that's not original to the house.  We demolished most of it when we first moved in, but left a small portion of it as a sort of privacy screen between the girls' room and our bedroom doorway.)

I have a lot of work to do.


  1. Children moving out is so bittersweet but it's great that Grace and Brigid are living together.

    Maybe you could turn your extra room into a Pinterest-worthy craft room, complete with framed smarmy self-esteem-boosting quotations on the wall and a gift-wrapping station!

  2. I have a friend who dropped her son off at college, then called that afternoon to see when I could come get the desk out of his room because the painter was starting the Monday morning, so no, it's not unseemly to start clearing out their room so quickly.
    Congrats on the job Seamus. So many changes at your house!

  3. I'm trying to imagine sending a kid off to college, but I'm not there yet :-) Instead, Emma is freaking out about starting high school on Wednesday. It's lunch hour and PE that have her stressed out. I know it will be okay once it starts, but the anticipation-anxiety is hard on all of us!

  4. That's all kind of exciting! For all of your kids and for you, too.
    I am lusting over the brick wall in your daughters' apartment.

  5. We made David pack up everything he wanted to keep and wasn't taking to college, so we could put it in the attic. His younger brother kept going into his room during the packing process with a measuring tape and a notepad, planning how he was going to arrange it the minute David left the house. So, no, doesn't seem hasty to me!