The road to new beginnings was cloud-filled and sun-streaked and awe-striking in that sun-setting over mountains or desert or both sort of way.
We moved last weekend to our new home in the new desert, which is a temporary set-up in the backyard of some of the best friends a family could ask for.
We’ve set up shop in a trailer full of vintage with a capital V and a workshop full of everything we really need, minus a bathroom and maybe a kitchen sink. For those needs, we simply go inside. So, yes, there is electricity, which means there are lights, clocks, a microwave, a toaster and even an air conditioner. The trailer, where the rock star and I sleep, has a lofted bed, wood floors, peeling paint that’s perfect and, yes, electricity. So, no, we’re not off the grid – not to any extent. In fact, we’re in the heart of this town. Right where we want to be.
So the road from Utah’s desert to Colorado’s was cloud-filled and beautiful. It was the little girl and I in my car, and the boys in the moving truck. The 3-year-old slept and we kept the windows down and the music up.
When we arrived, we were the only ones there. Our friends were at other friends’ and the boys were about 15 minutes behind us. So my daughter and I marveled at the renovations our friend had done to the workshop and we giggled and smiled about our future. The boys arrived, we shared our happiness and we headed to the moving truck to unload our things.
I paused for a second – maybe 3 seconds – to latch the workshop’s door. And that’s when the road to new beginnings changed from beauty to minor nightmare.
I turned around and the little girl was sprawled in the grass, flat on her stomach, hands over her face. The little boy’s eyes were wide as moons.
“What happened?” I asked.
The little boy stared in disbelief, maybe shock. “I was just pushing the swing … and … ”
I lifted the little girl up, pried her hands from her face and saw the gaping hole in her forehead. It was shaped like a triangle and the blood was gushing. Our friends have a wooden octagonal swing that hangs from their willow tree. Rye had given it a push as he walked past, unaware his little sister was running after him.
It had smacked her in the forehead, above her right eye.
I screamed for the rock star, who got the car keys and a towel and we headed for the hospital in a town we didn’t yet know.
I sat in the back with my little girl who was crying, the towel pressed to her head. My son sat in the front, terrified. My husband drove, as we tried to find the hospital. Please be open late, I thought.
Finally, we found it, and the ER, even in this small community, was open all hours.
She’s going to need stitches, the nurse said. She’s not going to like it.
I know, I said.
There was much screaming and crying – but also a few smiles, some songs and a book while we waited.
All told, we were there about 3 hours. Paige got seven stitches. And she is the bravest little girl I have ever met.
For my part, I will just say this: Holding your child down while someone injects lidocaine into a hole in their head is … awful, among many other adjectives.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. When I closed my eyes, I saw the hole in her head. Around 2 a.m., she woke up crying and the rest of the night she slept on my chest.
That was how we began our first day in our new home.
I’m happy to say the days since then have been increasingly calm. We’re adjusting and happy. We’ve gone as a family to the coffee shop and the local pizza joint. We’ve heard live music (and we’ll hear more tonight when the rock star opens for Willy Tea Taylor and the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit!). Overall, we’ve been present. We’ve been open. We’ve accepted this part of our lives as this chapter. And we’re excited to see where we end up next, when the trailer and the workshop give way to a new home that maybe finally can truly feel like where we belong.
We’re on our way.