Earlier this month, I packed up my boxes and left my mom’s after a 2 1/2 yr stay at her place. It took few but strong arguments with my sister to finally decide that we were all better off living separately. After all, it was 4 adults and 3 children all encapsulated in a 2 bedroom-1bathroom apartment in the Valley — somewhat suffocating.
Now, I didn’t have much of an option as to where I could move. My savings are rather low. I just started a job in March, it pays well, but I’ve been catching up purchasing all the things I can now afford for Roca, like new pairs of shoes and books (& all kinds of Toy Story themed stuff). I also tried to compensate my mom for supporting me all that time I lived there with my son.
Riverside is about 70 miles east of the Valley. It is a little over an hr drive away, and 2 hours commuting. Roca and I began our crazy routine last week, and it goes something like this:
-I get up at 4:20am
-I’m ready to head to the train station at 5:15am, when I put his shoes & sweater on to then put him in his stroller and walk the 1 block to the station.
-The train leaves from Riverside at 5:42am
-We arrive at Union Station at 7am, we get out fast and sprint over to the subway that finally leaves us at Universal City at about 7:35am
-We hop in the car, arrive at daycare at about 8am. I prepare his juice, take a moment to sit and breathe, and head out to work.
-I’m back at 2pm to pick him up, and repeat our commute back home.
The most blissful part of our new routine is by far the train ride. Roca is still too tired to be up in the morning, so I bring him a blanket to continue his interrupted sleep, which I feel terrible for having to cut in between. The swaying of the cars rocks me back to sleep sometimes, and sometimes keeps me awake catching up to my current read or writing thoughts that come so clearly in the still dark, early morning. I always choose to sit on the east side of the train, because the sun rises within the next 15 min after we settle in our seats.
To see the morning sun is a ceremony of the earth starting a new cycle of day, and a time for me to humbly surrender to its light, and feel endlessly aware of my living existence here and now. On the ride back home I see it set. It’s really nice.
Our small new place has a nice porch with a front yard. It didn’t take Roca more than an hour to set camp there, with all his toys and little table. He likes to sit on a chair and look out the playground right across the street from us. Or lie on the floor to pretend he’s reading a book. He talks to the birds sometimes, and like to chase after the puppy that he also likes to pretend is his.
Him being happy is one of the most rewarding feelings I have felt. When he’s at peace, laughing at a silly toy, or enjoying the afternoon breeze out on the porch. His happiness assures me that I’ve made the best temporary decision I could.
Well into our first week, I had a couple of babysitting jobs in the Valley that, because of the commuting time, I had to plan to spend the night. One of the families that I work for is made up of a divorced dad, and his 7-year-old girl, and 5-year-old boy. He’s usually very sweet to me, seems to genuinely care for me, and is always grateful that I could come watch his kids. I had told him via text that I need to know in advance when to come over, since I moved so far. On Saturday night, he asked me about the move, and if I was doing OK. I said, yeah, that it’s just for the summer and that I’d be back by September, that’s the goal.
Then, he said to me “Listen, when you have a purpose, everything is worth it. If you know what your purpose is, things will fall into place. It always happens.”
His thought lingered in my mind for the rest of the night, and for days after.
I’m trying to live with a purpose in mind. Although, I won’t lie, the trips were absolutely draining for the first three days and had me thinking if I had REALLY made the best choice? I’m afraid to question it much, and when I do, I’m reminded of Roca and his porch.
The thought makes me feel it’s worth it.