"The life of a blended family". Our Poly Life is written by any one of a poly-fi quad. Each month they will share with readers about issues they face as a blended and committed poly family with nine children still at home. You can read more about them at their website; Our Poly Life.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Our Poly Move

Our family has been house hunting for about eight months. We had a long list of wants – certain school districts, minimum number of bedrooms, an unfinished basement, yard preferences, parking needs, storage requirements, and of course it all had to come together for an acceptable price. It’s not easy finding a suitable dwelling for four adults, nine children, and a lifetime of memories and acquisitions. But within the next few days, we shall be tucked securely into our new home.

It is quite possible there has been exponentially more planning and preparation to move all of us together than there was to move our loves into the existing place a year and a half ago. How we go through life accumulating so much stuff is mind boggling. Not that we are all that materialistic, but with thirteen people comes many necessary purchases and many more gift giving occasions such as birthdays and holidays. Without giving our stuff some concerted effort, it just builds up on us incrementally.

So in the last month while Fix (along with his rotating crew of handy helpers) has been remodeling and building in the new terrace level of our residence, Temptress, Big, and I have been sifting and sorting through boxes, papers, toys, clothing, linens, furniture, extra computer parts, kitchen gadgets, and camping equipment, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum. We are loosing some significant square footage in this move, so many things we have kept “just because we could” are now being processed through reevaluation.

This experience has been therapeutic in a way; requiring us to take notice of every dish and pillowcase, determining which items have merit for practical use and which items have merit for reasons of sentimental fondness. We’ll have less storage space, so everything that moves with us must have a home of its own and a usefulness that insures taking it with us was a good choice.

In addition, we’re remaking our home. By that I mean we are not simply moving this living room to the new living room, one bedroom to the new bedroom. Instead, we are giving the new home a fresher look by updating our bed sets, choosing new paint colors, then moving pieces from each room and interchanging with other parts. Perhaps Temptress and I thought this would help give our family a wholeness we’ve been struggling to create since the very formation of our family.

The greatest part of this whole scenario is that it will no longer be “your” home, “their” car, “her” chair, “his” lamp… Now we have a home that is OURS; a place we found together, planned together, built together, painted together, moved together, and settled together. I’ve overheard the children negotiating personal belongings, “If my new room is going to be blue, can I have your big chair?” Or, “I think my white bookcase will match your room better, and I’ll take the big brown one in the playroom.”

Another wonderful part of this process has been seeing the kids pull together to help create the home as it needs to be. Fix and team have put in countless hours, working in the summer heat to complete the unfinished basement into a suitable home for our four boys, along with a home office, and a craft room. Watching Fix teach our kids about studding walls, hanging sheetrock, mud and tape, sanding walls, laying tile, running plumbing lines, installing fixtures, and the like is a very magical process. I am thrilled all of our kids will have these lessons so that if they ever want or need to use them again, the basis of this practical knowledge is in place.

When I contemplate the lasting impact of this move and all its facets, I can see how this is ever so much more than just a move. I see us building a family, with memories and traditions and a solid foundation of how we define ourselves. I am continually amazed at how wood, plaster, nails and paint can come together to create a structure that encompasses all that we hold dear; and by doing so, the house becomes a home - our home that we chose, for the family that was created in a very special and unique way.

~Temptress and the Laundry Goddess, July 14, 2007

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