I warned my husband before the twins were born that we were about to face the formidable challenge of being outnumbered. With only one child we had a great ratio of 2:1. Whenever one of us was busy the other one could step in to take care of him. It just doesn’t work that way with three kids! Everything is more complicated with three under three, and to feel a semblance of control we don’t simply need an extra set of hands to even the odds, we really need at least two more adults to outnumber the children again.
So, when we moved houses a few weeks ago, I knew we would have to call in the cavalry, but I underestimated how badly we needed the reinforcements. At the time we were renting a two bedroom, one bathroom house that was bursting at the seams with three kids, two dogs, a home-based business, and decades worth of crap we cannot bear to throw out. Our change of address was necessary for many reasons. We planned for the move to start on Monday with my husband and a friend moving what boxes they could to the new house. Tuesday the movers would pack everything up, Wednesday they would return to transport our belongings, and Thursday we would begin the lengthy process of unpacking.
Five days before go-time, our babysitter came down with bronchitis. Seriously? When I needed her more than ever? She assured me that she contracts it once a year and she would recover by Monday. So, I did what any sensible mother would do. I panicked. What if she weren’t fine by Monday? It would be a tad too late to find a replacement and we’d be $#!% out of luck. Time for plan B. Wait a sec – what plan B? THERE WAS NO PLAN B!
My husband and I put our heads together (ouch!) and came up with a crazy idea: let’s call Aunt C. in Buenos Aires to see if she could fly in to help us. No…not an inconvenience at all, right? Wednesday night we floated the idea past her and she said she couldn’t because of her work obligations. Thursday she called us back to tell us that she called in some favors at work and she could come after all. An hour and several thousand mileage points later, her ticket was booked. 24 hours after that she was on a jet plane and before we knew it, our guardian angel had arrived.
Monday came and so did our babysitter. As did the extreme heat. My husband’s friend stopped by for 2 hours and moved half of our boxes by himself. Unbelievable. Tuesday brought more heat and four movers. Because the friend I will from now on call TANK moved half of our house, the movers had everything packed up by noon and asked us if they could just move everything to the new house immediately rather than come back the next day. Sure, why not?
Of course it was too chaotic to track down where all of the essentials I had meticulously set aside disappeared to, and it took me a couple of days to find everything. Bed sheets went AWOL, toothbrushes were nowhere to be found, my husband tore his hair out from not being able to solve the case of the missing printer, and blind panic set in when I could not locate my breast pump. At least the AC units were working. Wednesday and Thursday we spent unpacking but it was so overwhelming it hardly felt like we were making a dent. Then Friday morning arrived, and with it, my BFF since the age of six. She left her three kids to help me unpack and get the house in order so we could actually live in it. When they were handing out lifelong friends in heaven, I hit the jackpot!
Not only did my BFF unpack boxes and help around the house, she built the TV stand, two bookshelves, a crib, a change table, and several other pieces of furniture! When I was nursing, pumping, or too tired to move, she would play with Aiven or hold babies. And when we teamed up to organize and decorate each room, we worked together seamlessly to get the job done!
A local friend invited us all over for dinner Friday night. She had the foresight that I would not have time to cook nor even unpack dishes yet. G-d bless her a million times for having us over. I am often sad that we don’t have family nearby. It is hard to not have a free, on-demand babysitting service around and folks to share our everyday moments and miracles with us. But when we really, really needed the support of our friends and family, they came running to help. Family and friends like that are priceless and no distance can separate our love for one another.
So, let’s recap: one husband, one nursing mama, one aunt from Argentina, one babysitter with no voice left, a friend built like a tank and another who could feed an army, one toddler, two newborns, two dogs, and one BFF from far far away. This move truly took a village.