I remember the day Tate told me he’d been offered a position in the Backwoods, AL plant. We were sitting at Subway on Eldorado in Decatur, IL. He had emailed me at work to see if I wanted to meet for lunch. Since he didn’t ask me to lunch often, I was thrilled, thinking what a romantic gesture this was.
This day also marked my 12th week of pregnancy. I’d been keeping my secret from all of our friends and coworkers, and had planned to share our big news with everyone that week.
Looking back now, life seemed perfect, idealistic. Everything was truly right with the world. We were living only two hours from family and friends. Our house was our dream home in a dream neighborhood with dream neighbors. Everyone was friendly with one another, stopping to chat on evening walks, discussing the Cardinals or the Cubs, our green (or brown) yards, the weather. We knew everyone’s kids names. I also had a job that I truly loved, finally working in a school where I’d made friends and felt respected.
And best of all, we were expecting a baby.
So that day, when Tate told me that my perfect world was going to change has stuck with me. I remember the details of my surroundings as I heard him say the words, “they’ve offered me an opportunity in Backwoods.” As I sat eating my sandwich in the booth by the door in back by the soda machine and bathroom, I cried. Even as I type this, I can feel that lump in my throat, the burning of tears. Choking back the shock, I didn’t want to immediately start crying, but my words were forced. “Alabama?,” I managed to say, as tears began to fall. I remember barely being able to swallow the mouthful of food. At some point in our conversation, I said, “but we’re having a baby. What about our baby? What about me?”
We told our families that night. They were as devastated as I was. I tried to be enthusiastic, tried to see this as yet another adventure, tried to see the positives. It’s hard to be excited when your perfect world is crumbling around you.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t have been as supportive of the move. Had I realized just how difficult it would be to raise children so far from any family, I wouldn’t have agreed to move hundreds of miles away. It all still feels incredibly unfair.
Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll discuss our first impressions of Alabama and share our horrific moving story. I know, you’re at the edge of your seat.
Just one more day to ask me a question. I’ve only received 3 questions so far and my ego is irreparably bruised. So if you’d like to play along, pu-uhleeeeeeze email me at playgroupie at gmail dot com.