birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

All the Right Moves

As I scurried around this morning to get the house ready to be shown today, I wondered if selling it would resolve problems or create more. Financially, it would help, of course. My husband is currently paying the mortgage, his apartment rent, and his son’s. Would the financial relief be worth the angst a move out-of-state will cause?

His move to a different university in North Carolina has been a happy professional move for him. He likes his new job and title, but his move away has exposed all the weaknesses and cracks in our family.

His eldest son, who has struggled with mental health issues, went full tilt coo-coo for cocoa puffs. His OCD went into hyper overdrive. What used to be too much hand-washing morphed into hour ritual showers and everything in Ziploc bags (and that’s the least of it). The reality of his mental illness has been daunting and overwhelming. The term “mental illness” doesn’t begin to describe how all encompassing his problems are. My husband moved him up to North Carolina, where they have much better mental health resources. I’m not sure what kind of resolution there can be to his problems.

My daughter manifested her anxiety about the move with health issues. That’s her go-to behavior. It has been just as exhausting and daunting. While her health problems are real and resulted in surgeries, they opened the availability of prescription drugs to her. She has struggled with this before. So now there is a bigger problem to deal with than the health issues. Leaving me to wonder how I can move away and leave my eight-year-old grandson? I have to admit it feels like that’s the whole point of her behavior. Where is the resolution here?

So as I wait to hear what the people who are looking at the house today think about it, I’m torn. Selling it will force resolutions. What are the right ones? Is there any way to know?

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The Least of These