I've never been a fan of the saying It's always darkest before the dawn because let's face it, it's always darkest at the bottom of a well, it's always darkest when the entrance to the mine has been sealed by an explosion, it's always darkest in the coffin, etc.
However, in this case, the saying appears to have been kinda true, in that all the situations I referred to in the last post, plus a couple more unpleasant issues, have fixed themselves. The papers on the house have been signed, the stuff has arrived and Kurt has gotten slightly (slightly) more civilized. He doesn't appear to be downright murderous anymore, a vast improvement. And he's talking less than he was in May but his expressions are a bit more sophisticated. He remains a bit quirkier than usual, however, as if he's a computer who needs some better anti-viral software and a good reboot.
For instance, although he's always been one to repeat expressions on loop, this behavior has intensified lately. For a while when he was taking his frustrations out on his little sister I found myself often saying, "Kurt, LEAVE MARIA ALONE." He loved this, repeating it anytime anyone asked him a question about anything. Except he substituted GIVE for LEAVE. So there have been several awkward moments when some friendly adult has said something to Kurt, like….
Unsuspecting Stranger: "Hello, there, little guy!"
Kurt: "GIVE MARIA a LOAN."
Unsuspecting Stranger: "What was that?"
Kurt: "GIVE MARIA a LOAN!"
It's easier to sit and be amused than it is to try to explain, so I don't.
After a week in which it sounded like Kurt would have to wait four months to get into the nearby awesome public schools that are basically the entire reason we bought the house we did, miracles happened, a place opened up and lo, he starts half days the day after Labor Day. Arranging therapy and school has been exactly the sort of kitten-and-lollipop-filled field of daisies you can imagine it is, and I try to not get fatalistic about these things, but sometimes I do anyways.
However, I have located the Target and good Asian food, and Amazon Prime is back in my life with a vengeance. My new neighborhood is a maze of beautiful and befuddling walking paths with a kick-ass pool of which the kids are very fond. So, there are comforts.
I would never attempt to portray myself as anything but fundamentally lazy. My home is a mess and my husband does most of the cooking, so I could provide you with a long list of character witnesses to that effect. However, I am a huge fan of getting the hell out of the house, especially with the kids, because they are infinitely easier to manage out there. So, these are pictures from our first three weeks of outings, aided in no small part by Grandma Marlo.
Kurt, trying to lose me in the woods at Mariner's Park.
Grandma and Maria at William and Mary. Maria loves flowers, but systematically murders them wherever she encounters them. We're working on it.
Riding a dinosaur at the Virginia Living Museum. They love this place so far, but without a doubt, their favorite part is the elevator.
Kurt, in love with the trains at the children's museum.
Maria enjoyed the tunnel that led into the train exhibit.
Kurt got away from me on the second floor of the museum and I panicked at first, before I spotted him, playing with cars on the floor near the window, so idyllic…
See? I thought. He's fine. It's a children's museum for pete's sake. I need to get a grip. Then I noticed a man in a museum uniform, pointing at Kurt and tensely asking each mom he encountered, "Is that your son?" It turns out Kurt had walked up to a display that was demonstrating the concept of velocity using race cars. He picked the cars up and just left with them. Ahem.
He liked the museum. He didn't want to leave.
Pensive at Newport News Park.
Yorktown Beach, where Jeff ran into his boss (while in his swimsuit).
Lastly, Maria climbing a pyramid of what I think are cannon balls at Fort Monroe, which was held by the Union throughout the war, and hosted the likes of Jefferson Davis (he was in prison there) and Harriet Tubman.
SO there you go. We're getting settled. As Jeff put it last night, "Okay, we've got my job, we've got the kids in school, we've got the house. The only thing we need now are friends, and I don't think we even need them that badly."