We did it! Steve, Jack, and I have moved halfway across the country. Stately Wasser Manor is sold, and we are currently residing in Temporary Wasser Manor, also known as my mom and step-dad's house.
Things are going surprisingly well, especially considering that we have four unemployed adults (Doug and Nancy are now retired) and a toddler living under one roof. If that's not the makings of a sitcom, I don't know what is. Everyone is respecting each other's space, and we're all making an effort to be considerate and clean up after ourselves. Well, except for Jack, who is content to scatter crayons all over the place.
Steve and I were both really concerned about how Jack would adjust to the new environment. There are just so many changes, and the only things that are really familiar are Mommy, Daddy, and Roary. For the first few days, he was incredibly clingy. He tugged at me constantly, saying, "Mommy! Come on!" He got upset when either of us left the room. He also kept referring to stuff that was "at home." He and Steve were driving, and he wanted to stop watching Nemo and switch to Monsters, Inc. Steve couldn't switch it, so he said, "Sorry, buddy. No Monsters right now." Jack said, "Monsters at home," which just about broke Steve's heart.
But things are getting much better. The biggest improvment came on Sunday when the "big orgish truck" arrived with all of Jack's toys, his crib, and the furniture for his room. Jack felt a lot more secure and was happy to rediscover all of his stuff. We have also been working hard to emphasize that this is "Jack's new house." I was very happy yesterday when we were driving home, and Jack pointed at the house and said, "That Jack's house. Right there." He is still clingier than usual, and he's prone to a major tantrum at about 6:00 every night, but that's to be expected, and it's better than I feared it might be.
As for Steve and me, we quickly came to the conclusion that the midwest is a much better place for us to be. No more do we have to leave at least half an hour in advance of doing anything. Five minutes will get you just about anywhere. And it is remarkable how much friendlier everyone is. On my drive here, I stopped at a toll booth in Indiana. I asked the man working there for directions to a hotel. He looked me in the eye, made a joke, and smiled at me as he answered my question. It's rather sad how much that affected me. Everyone we've encountered has been the same way -- friendly, helpful, and not irritated with us. Despite the fact that I don't have a job and have an occasionally tantruming clinger monkey kid, my stress level is lower than it was on an ordinary day in Virginia. I am really happy that the three of us have made this change.