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Summertime and Moving Daddy’s House Was Not Easy

Posted By Jolyn Rudelson On 08.10.2011 @ 5:58 PM In General | Comments Disabled

For divorced families everywhere summertime is a time of transition.  In these days of joint custody, most children live with their fathers during the summer.  Some spend the summer with their mothers if their father has primary custody.  In my family, my grandsons live with their father at Daddy’s House for the summer.

This year was no exception.  By early June my grandsons were in Vermont hiking, swimming, running every day with Dad, plus a little tennis, soccer and La Crosse thrown in.  This year they even got in a little fishing on the banks of the Connecticut River.  And with the fishing came another gift of summer, poison ivy.  But with this summer there was something else. They spent it packing up their room.  Daddy’s House was on the move. My son and grandsons were moving this summer to Dallas, Texas.

The boys were very excited.  The move was in the middle of their summer vacation and this time they were old enough to ask to decorate their new rooms in Dallas.  Football was definitely on their minds when they picked out their team sheets and comforters for their beds.

That was where Grandy came in.  As I mentioned in my book It’s Not About You: A Grandparent’s Guide to Surviving Divorce in the Family, just like I had done for their first room at Daddy’s House,  a grandparent can help with the move by  shopping for their grandsons’ new room even if you are an “Airport Grandmother” like I am.  When my grandsons requested the teenager’s staple, bean bag chairs, I realized those teen age years would  soon be upon us. My oldest grandson wanted his favorite team logo on his but my youngest grandson decided he really wanted a “Big Kahuna Chair.”  Whatever that was, I knew I would find it.  I agreed because his birthday was coming up soon. The plus was I could see him enjoy my birthday gift on Skype before he returned to “Mommy’s House” and school.

Just after the 4th of July, Daddy’s House was ready for the move.  The new sheets had arrived for my grandsons’ bedroom and the big Kahuna chair and the beanbag chair, as promised, had been ordered to arrive right after they did at their new location in Dallas.

My grandsons returned to Mommy’s House to await the arrival of Dad and the moving van in Dallas. A few days later, after my son supervised the loading of  “Daddy’s House” onto the moving van, he began the 1800-mile drive to his family’s new home.  I think he decided the trip would go faster without “Are we there yet Daddy?” echoing in the back seat.  And he also looked forward to seeing his sons faces coming into  “Daddy’s House” with everything in place and put away.  After all they would only be separated a few days. Time together is precious for divorced fathers and their children in the summer.

Three days later my son arrived at the new location for Daddy’s House. It was completely empty but my son thought he could manage sleeping on the floor for the few days he would have to wait for the moving van to arrive and his sons to join him in Dallas. There were so many things for him to do. One very important thing was to connect to the Internet so he could Skype with his sons as usual. But alas there could be no Internet connection before the TV went in and the TV was on the Truck.  There was no kitchen to put away until the truck arrived, no beds to make, no pictures to hang. They were all on the truck. Also my son was beginning a new job and he needed to set up his new office, but everything for his office was on the truck. In other words my son was alone in an empty apartment without even a pot……….. coffee or otherwise.

While my son was there waiting something did arrive and on time.  No not the Moving Van, but “Big Brown” arrived to save the day with “The Big Kahuna Chair.”   My son had no pot but he did have something to sit on.  After a few days of sleeping on the floor or sitting in the “Big Kahuna Chair”, the adventure started to become tedious and uncomfortable.  He started to call the moving company.  Where in fact was Daddy’s House?  Was it almost there?  The boys after all were waiting.   The answer from one of the biggest moving companies in the nation was “WE HAVE NO DRIVERS.”  Day after day the precious days of summer were passing and each day the answer was the same “WE HAVE NO DRIVERS.” The days turned into one week and then another and the answer continued the same.

Finally my son asked, “In this economy, with so many people looking for work are you telling me you have no drivers?”  The answer remained the same “WE HAVE NO DRIVERS” followed by one even worse  “ your household goods remain in Vermont.”  My son was so frustrated.  Why didn’t this company realize they were moving his “life” in that truck, not just his “Household Goods?”

As the third week ticked away the moving company’s mantra “WE HAVE NO DRIVERS” became very stale. Not being able to see another day of his precious time with his sons slip away, he finally sent for them.  They would just have to share this “adventure” together. My grandsons were excited, after all the “Big Kahuna chair,” the Bengal Tiger beanbag chair and “Six Flags” were waiting.

When my grandsons finally arrived in Texas, only a week remained of their summertime with their dad. It was spent in an empty apartment, with no beds, no TV, no tables and no chairs beside the “Big Kahuna” and the Bengal Tiger, but at least they were all together.  Thank goodness children of divorce can prove to be very flexible.

After a week, their unforgettable adventure was at an end. The fun of decorating their new bedrooms would have to wait three months until they returned to spend Thanksgiving with Dad. Disappointed they left for “Mommy’s House and school. In an empty office the next day my son started his new job. The summer of 2011 was officially over.  And then  28 days after the house was loaded and they had left Vermont, the Moving Van, “Daddy’s House inside, finally arrived in Dallas. Yee-Ha!!!!!!!!!

A suggestion my son & I made was for the moving company to change their company slogan to:

“YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US

WE MOVE LIVES NOT JUST FURNITURE!”


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