I am at my mom’s house with BG. My wife brought us here two days ago to stay until we move.
Three days ago, BG had a doctor’s appointment for a cough. His cold that he had never went away, and his coughing was constant and was becoming increasingly worse. At his appointment, I learned that BG had a double ear-infection and on top of that, the doctor heard some pretty nasty wheezing. She asked me if J and I smoke, and when I said no, she asked if anyone smoked in the home. I still said no. Only later did I think about the fact that yes, in fact, someone does fill our home with smoke every day–our neighbor in the duplex next door. The doctor was honestly surprised that I said no, and she told me that BG’s brand of wheezing results in asthma in about 50% of kids who have it at his age. My stomach clenched when I heard this news, and when I got to the car and got BG safely into his car seat, I silently sobbed in the minutes before leaving the parking structure because in that moment I knew that this hell hole we’ve been living in has caused this to happen. Between the constant pot smoke and the exposure to black mold and otherwise contaminated air (did I mention the tar that dripped from the walls when we used his humidifier in his room–even though his walls were freshly painted?), our boy has been breathing crap air for over a month and as a result has gotten sicker and sicker.
I called J at work. She was with a student, but when I picked her up, she was in Super Mama mode. She told me we had to talk, that she wanted me and BG to go to my mom’s and that she was packing us up. Whether we had a place to live or not, we were getting the hell out of there, even if that meant moving everything into storage and staying with my family for awhile.
That night, we got a hotel room and made plans. We had plenty of houses to look at, but J would have to see them herself. In fact, J would have to take care of everything, including getting her grades in. It was all overwhelming, but it was what we had to do. And then, as we got BG out of his bath that night, I got a call from a woman whose house we had seen a couple of weeks prior. She wanted to know if we were still interested. We had just assumed we were out of the running, but she had liked us from the beginning and so had her husband. We were interested, so we scheduled a time to come see it again the next day, and after looking it over, chatting with her for an hour in the driveway, and doing a serious gut check, we all agreed. We’re signing the lease in nine days.
The house is not in our dreamtown. Dreamtown’s rental market has become very unfriendly of late, and the monthly rent on a very small two-bedroom home that would have been affordable last year has risen over 25% per month, so we’ve found a place about eight minutes away on the outskirts of a neighboring city. It’s a city we like well enough, and the location will allow us access to our dreamtown plus lots of other great elements of our county. The house is in the suburbs, and it looks like so many other houses from its era (the sixties), but we like it, and it’s so clean and safe. There’s a fenced back yard with a couple of raised beds and a covered patio–oh, and three bedrooms, so I get to have an office again. It’s not our dream home, but it feels like a safe haven, like it will rescue us and help us get our lives going. That’s really what we want. No, it’s not that idyllic country life we dreamt of, but that idyllic country life has been marred for the moment by copious amounts of pot smoke and rat shit. Somehow, it feels less appealing.
So we’re moving next week. J is packing us up while she finishes grading and finals, and BG and I are waiting it out here. I’m having a terrible time with it. My step-dad just lost his job, so he’s always here and very surly. The television is blaring nonstop playing old westerns, and I generally feel like he’s annoyed with my presence. He is better with BG, but I know we’re in his way, and it sucks. I’m stuck though. My wife has our car. My parents need theirs, and I’m many miles from a nearby town or public transportation even. This week is going to be very long. However, when I look at my son, and I see how immediately his health has improved upon leaving that place, how quickly he’s off the breathing treatments, I’m heartened, and I know we’ve done the right thing. Still, how is a control freak supposed to just sit back and hear over the phone how the packing is going? I’m literally pacing the floors.
I’m a mess of emotions, and I ping from nervous to restless to simply missing my wife like crazy. I’m just trying to look ahead, decorating in my mind, imagining sitting on that patio watching BG playing in the back yard. Now I just need to remember to breathe.