A. and I returned home today after visiting my family for the last four nights. It was our extra long weekend getaway for me to recover from the last several weeks at work, A.’s first time meeting our new nephew, and a chance to visit with my uncle who’s visiting from Washington state. And, it was the first time we’ve been there since deciding we’d try to move there next summer, which helped us to picture everything with a difference view. And there was much talk with family about the plans.

We left work early on Friday to get there in time for dinner. We had a nice dinner with everyone and got to spend some time with our three week old nephew. He is so tiny and cute! And is such a good baby. Seriously, the child only cries when he’s hungry or needs a diaper change. Nephew #1 used to cry on cue every night from 5-9. Nothing could soothe the boy. This one must know there is no way they could deal with four hours of crying and a toddler struggling with the terrible twos!

We spent all day Saturday with the boys. Playing and feeding and cuddling and rocking – depending on which one we had at the time. Sunday SIL woke up sick and my brother had to work so I picked the two kidlets up at 7:30 am and bounced them around from person to person at my parents house. We had a special date with Nephew #1 to go to a parade, specifically to see the fire trucks. The child is obsessed with fire trucks. He got so excited when the trucks approached that he broke into laughter and tears all at the same time (a scene repeated the next day when we went to visit the fire trucks at the fire station). And he relished in being an only child again, if only for a few hours. He had our undivided attention all while seeing his beloved fire trucks, watching trains, and eating ice cream, does it really get any better for a two year old?

While A. and I truly wanted to take him to this event, I’d be lying if we weren’t scoping it out to see what kinds of family activities we might expect once we move. The whole visit felt different. I began picturing myself woven into that community, thinking of the things we’d do with our kid there, and settling into how wonderful it would be to fully experience the daily going ons of my family. To really be an integral part of our nephews lives and not just the aunties who visit every so often. I want this so much.

As the weekend wore on, we started talking to my parents about the move. Our situation is such that we’d both potentially be unemployed when we move, and in the best case scenario A. would have been hired to start teaching in the fall. So we are ambivalent to buy a home anytime before we know she has a solid income. I will start working part time for my dad as soon as we get there – but I guess I still consider myself unemployed because A.’s salary is what will be supporting us in an effort for me to be a stay at home mom. My part time income will help, but it won’t pay a mortgage. We had hoped my parents wouldn’t mind if we crashed with them for the summer until A. would hopefully start teaching. I was a little shy about bringing this up, but it was my mom who really introduced the idea and impressed we could stay as long as we needed- and even took us on a tour of the loft above the garage and started talking about how they could finish it off…(mind you, they JUST finished renovating the entire house about a year ago and there are two bed rooms and full bath on the second floor that would be just fine for us). Their only hesitation is that they hate our cats. But we’ll come with a baby and they love that idea. In our ideal world we’d be out of their house by the end of September. But it’s really nice to know we can stay there. It makes the move feel do able. I was worried before about quitting my job if A. did not have one, but this way we can take the time we need to figure it out. And, for the first time I don’t feel tied down to my job. Their offer truly liberated me. Now I will be able to give my notice before I go on maternity leave (academic searches take place in the spring each year so I am requested to give notice by February if I am not coming back in August).

Now, I am not a fool. I do not think moving into my parents house with a five month old will be easy. It won’t. We all agreed it will be hard for all of us at times. My parents did it with both of their parents at one time or another so they are really open to it and have first hand experience of what it’s like. They also work crazy long hours, so we really wouldn’t see each other all that much. And the house is plenty big enough for all of us. I am on cloud nine after their offer. I feel like we can move there. We can go whether A. has a teaching job or not. And I can be a stay at home mom. And we’ll have family all around us for better and worse…and it will be great! But A. and I had one last reservation that I brought up over breakfast, I asked how they felt about cloth diapers, and specifically cloth diapers being washed in their washer? My dad’s response I think they are great, I’m glad you’re not going to use those [pointing in the direction of both nephews stash of disposables] it’s the worst thing you can do for the land fill. We used them on you. My mother’s response, I don’t care.

So the plan as it stands now is for us to move out of here by July 1, 2008. Nine months from now. A. will *hopefully*have a teaching job for the fall and will get some kind of summer work. I would work part time with my dad and my SIL and I would trade off child care. We’d be home. We’d be with family. And our child would be growing up just as we’ve both wanted it to, surrounded by family and a well established network of friends and community. Nothing could make me happier.

On another subject…right now I am super excited about our ultra sound tomorrow. We’re going to “see” the baby for the first time! I am already prepared to cry- hearing the heart beat makes me misty eyed. We solidly agree not to find out the sex and I think we’ve even nixed the idea of having the perinatologist document it for future info if we change our minds. We want the surprise at birth. I just know myself, and I know I would be disappointed if I knew ahead of time. So as I said to A. we’re just going to be those people and my mother will never forgive me. Good thing she loves us! She actually said this weekend so someone out in W.Mass will know the sex of my grandchild and I have to wait till birth. Yes mom, it’s true. And after long debates about names this weekend, she’s starting to accept the fact that she won’t like our kid’s name either.