It was a quiet winter and spring on the blog. I spent a good part of the early winter being ill and tired from pregnancy, and the later part being ill and tired over the academic job market search. My husband is a very well-qualified, well-published, hard-working, PhD-holding, Fulbright award-winning philosopher who also does housework and made amazing red curry for dinner last night, but there are maybe 15 jobs in his field in a given year. He’s had some long hard looks from some really great schools, but nothing permanent yet.
And despite how stressful just the idea of unemployment can be, we really are and have been very fortunate compared to a lot of other people struggling to find work in this economy. Even though we didn’t find out until the middle of May (STRESS BLARG!), Michael was awarded a very prestigious research fellowship at an institution of higher learning in Minnesota. In June we put the majority of our possessions in storage and spent the next 2.5 months on “extended family visits” also known as traveling around living with family until it was time to move to Minnesota.
This summer, between trips to Connecticut, Texas and finally Minnesota, we traveled through 17 states and experienced a lot of drastic weather. We lived out of suitcases and benefitted from the overwhelming hospitality of many friends and family. At the end of August, we moved into our furnished house provided by Michael’s fellowship (the first house we’ve ever lived in as a family!) and we started the process of settling in and putting down a few roots in our new community.
Through this whole move, the one thing I keep coming back to with deep thankfulness is that our boys have had each other. Transitions are hard even in the best of circumstances and I’m glad they’ve had each other as constantly playmates and, at times, bedmates. It was sweet listening to them call the other their “best friend” and when asked how they managed to sleep together in the same twin bed James answered, “We put our feets together and go to sleep.”
They are 5 and 3.5 years old, only 18 months apart, and the first year with the two of them was mostly about surviving as parents, but it is really paying off. And now they’re both looking forward to adding another brother to the group in about five short weeks.
|John and James – From September 2011|