Happy Anniversary! (Leaving Berkeley, Blog #1)

Today is our wedding anniversary. I told Andy earlier today that this will go down in history as the worst anniversary ever, but he disagreed. How could it be the worst anniversary ever, he asked, when Prince Charming is coming to the last-minute rescue of his sinus-infected princess?

Andy has been gone for three very long weeks. Weeks during which:

Aaron has started daycare and not dealt incredibly well with the change.

Work crews have been at our house non-stop to prep us for the move.

I have come down with a terrible sinus infection for which my doctor refuses to prescribe an antibiotic until at least Monday.

We only have two useable rooms on the main level of our home, neither of which are the rooms the kids actually play in.

All the belongings usually housed in the non-useable rooms are crammed into the useable rooms, which means we are tripping over everything, everywhere, all the time.

I haven’t been able to watch a single baseball game.

And the kids’ school is closed today and it’s raining and I’m sick.

So today, facing a looonnnggg weekend of being crammed into about 200 square feet with an incredibly needy four-year-old, a monkey of a one-year-old, a whiny German Shepard, and approximately five guys who are kindly and patiently stepping over Legos, unwrapping Aaron when he gets into the tape, and dealing with too-long stares from Rachel in addition to her “whys?”, perhaps it was no surprise that I texted Andy, “Can’t you come home today? Please?”

After a lot of back and forth and working out details, he agreed and, as I type, is waiting to board the next flight to Oakland. Prince Charming indeed.

To kill time earlier today, in our five-bedroom-turned-studio home, Rachel and I looked through wedding photos. Collin, of course, featured prominently.

“Where are Aaron and me?”, she asked. (we’re working on grammar, I promise).

“Well, you weren’t there yet because Mommy and Daddy weren’t married yet.”

Blank stare. She cannot fathom a world without her in it.

A few things came to me as we scrolled through the wedding pictures that I’ve yet to put into a fancy album:

1)   Our wedding photographer did a horrible job.

2)   There was a lot of love in that room.

Looking at the faces of the 150 to 200ish people present, I realized that some of them have gotten married, at least one has passed away, and approximately 12 or more babies have been born. The boys who hung out in the choir room instead of dancing are now off to college, and the ones playing ball in the grassy area by the church are now taller than me. One of those kids is in a shelter; another was a National Merit Scholar.

Some of the faces belong to people I thought I’d always see on a bi-weekly basis, if not more, and yet I haven’t seen them in months or even years.

On our first date, one of the first questions Andy and I asked each other was, “Would you ever leave Berkeley?” We both answered an emphatic “no.” Too perfect, too beautiful, too “bubbly” to leave. Even though I thought our first date was pretty terrible, that answer gave me hope.

And yet… here we are. Packing up, moving out. Vetting agents and making spreadsheets. It happens. But still it took me by surprise. Five years. Three kids. A first home. Multiple nephews. One kid in college, another almost off to kindergarten. Three dogs became one. One lawyer turned writer, and one baseball coach turned non-profit executive.

No wonder we’re so tired.

One of our friends came to look at our house when we first bought it. “A definite fixer-upper! Good thing you guys are young. Next time, you won’t buy a fixer, I promise.”

I laughed. “There won’t be a next time! You know us… we’re stay-put kind of people.”

He just smiled in that annoying way people who are older than you sometimes do.

A lot changes in five years.







17 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary! (Leaving Berkeley, Blog #1)

  1. Pingback: I’m Sorry–I Just Don’t Like Your Shoes (or Tupac) | jamie calloway-hanauer

  2. Pingback: 2014: The Year That Really, Really Sucked. | jamie calloway-hanauer

  3. Well, first off, I hope you feel better very soon. Second, this is a lovely piece. I’m so glad you’re are starting to process the move. It’s been a busy five years for you! I pray this next season brings some rest and refreshment. (We’ve been praying for rest since our move…and I believe God can answer!)


  4. Moving is something we avoid too, Jamie. Trying to deal with people working in the house and being confined to just a couple rooms while dealing with a sinus infection and an absent spouse sounds miserable. Glad he could get back to you sooner.

    I know one thing I’d do if I were moving away from Berkeley: eat pizza from Cheeseboard at every opportunity!


  5. My, does this bring back the memories! I don’t need to regale you, just send heartfelt sympathy. You will survive. You will have a thrilling time in your new place. You will look back on this flurry of activity and know better next time how to plan. But the children will be older then and all the issues will have changed. Find something to savour in this day. Happy Anniversary and may your path be made smoother and less tortuous.


  6. Funny how the things we’re most emphatic about can swiftly change for the reality of life. Sad you’re moving…excited for the opportunities for you and Andy!


  7. Scratch that last comment…I just stalked your FB feed until I could find an answer. DC! Wowzas!!! Congrats on all of it …and might you soon get those antibiotics and start feeling better!


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