We all have different ways of adjusting to the new place.
I scrub things with Lysol and try to erase from my memory the fact that other people have lived here and possibly smoked/spilled/or sexed right where I’m standing. I light candles so it doesn’t smell like fresh paint and polyurethane, but begins to smell like a home.
Salvador slinks along the floor, sniffing, darting his eyes around. He cries at the door to be let out of this place.
Josh inspects the walls and floors and outlets and switches. He examines the locks on the doors and windows to make sure they’re secure and we’ll all be safe.
Little J runs laps through every room, yelling and listening to his voice echo off the bare walls and hardwood floors. He explores every nook, opens every cabinet, crawls into every little space. But he has trouble sleeping. He wakes up in the middle of the night, crying out for me. I imagine he doesn’t recognize his little room, possibly forgets where he is or maybe just isn’t yet comfortable in his new home.
And I scoop him into my arms and carry him into our bed and the four of us snuggle and fall asleep. And feel at home.
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