Greetings From Washington, DC!
Have you heard?! We’ve moved yet again, and are just finishing up our first month here in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC. To be clear, we don’t move annually for then fun of it — I hope our move back to New Orleans next fall will be the last for a long time. My husband, the overachiever that he is, managed to land not one, not two, but THREE judicial clerkships after law school. We are here in DC for the third and final clerkship until Fall of 2020.
Moving is insanely stressful, although it feels like we have it down to a science at this point. As the parents of a toddler with high medical needs, the logistics of moving is even harder. He has medicaid to help cover what our employer insurance doesn’t cover — Medicaid varies state by state, meaning we have to discontinue service back home only to have to reapply here. That means we get a lapse in is secondary insurance. The same applies for Oscar’s therapies and education, which are also fulfilled by the state meaning we have a lapse in those services as well while his IEP (individualized education plan) gets reviewed by DC. I also have to find childcare — which hasn’t been awfully hard with references from high school friends and some new babysitting apps. But with new childcare comes the inevitable training I have to do on medical equipment, diagnosis, emergency scenarios, etc. It’s freaking hard! And at times doesn’t feel worth it, but Oscar is at the point where he wants attention all the time now, and doesn’t always take a nap — so he doesn’t like when I’m trying to study during the day — which I want to do so we can have time altogether as a family at night since we didn’t get that all last year because we were living long distance from my husband. F%$* !!!!!! Oh, yeah, I’m getting my MBA onlline. Cause, I’m crazy. And also because I have big dreams of starting a non profit, and / or helping my husband run a private law practice someday.
Nevertheless, I digress. Living in DC is insanely expensive. We tried living in a “house” - which in DC usually means a townhouse in a beautiful, garden filled neighborhood. That would’ve been great except those historic homes are not accessible in the least bit. I’d be bringing my kid up four flights of stairs a day without ever leaving the house to run errands. Not to mention his equipment. No way, José. In order to meet our needs better, we decided to move into an apartment complex - complete with elevators, a gym, and in walking distance to restaurants, grocery stores, and apparently some very important politicians. The apartment is much smaller than we are used to. But it’s working out wonderfully — easy for us to keep up with cleaning (Chris helps with laundry and dishes, I do floors, bathrooms, and cooking), and close enough to stores and restaurants that you don’t feel isolated or claustrophobic. My favorite benefit of living in an apartment with all of the living and bedroom spaces on one floor, is that Oscar can follow us everywhere - and I mean everywhere - around the apartment in his gait trainer. We’ll even take him down to the lobby and common areas where he chases around our unsuspecting neighbors. It’s hilarious.
Another benefit of city living is that I haven’t driven my car since we arrived. I haven’t driven my car in a month!!! I walk a lot, use the metro. I used an Uber once. I love being able to walk to the grocery store. And I love being able to take Oscar out without having to load him and his wheelchair in and out the car. I just pop him in his stroller or wheelchair, put on my walking shoes, and head out. The grocery is so close, I can usually load the stroller up with our groceries, or bring a bag or two out with me to carry on my shoulder.
It’s also awesome being back together with my husband — for obvious reasons. And Oskie just loves his daddy. Like, mommy is awesome when its just mommy and oskie, but once daddy is around, I’m chopped liver. Which is fine, cause that’s when I study. We eat dinner as a family most nights a week — but about twice a week I go to an Orange Theory Fitness class at night while Chris stays home with the baby. I miss being able to go work out soooo much. I’m so happy to be moving again. My body feels so much better — I was really taking hits to my body not working out. I got a hump in my neck, I was stiff from head to toe, I could barely move my neck some days. It’s really important to keep moving as much as you can. Last year was weird, being away from my husband and relying on other peoples’ schedules to get things done. So I kind of succumbed to the idea that I just wouldn’t get where I wanted fitness-wise and would pick it up as soon as I could. I’m making up for some lost time here, and playing catch up, but my body is really thanking me for it.
While it’s been difficult moving so much in the past few years, it has also been very eye opening. We’ve seen how state-funded services vary in three different states, what private services are available, how communities are inclusive — or not. It drives us to want to make our home community better, for Oskie as he grows up, and for everyone, really. So, I approach these moves with the intent of being very perceptive to the services offered, the accessibility of each city we’ve lived in, the community mentality of the cities we’ve lived in, and so on. In DC, I’m very excited to see some real advocating and lobbying on Capitol Hill! I’m looking forward to this next year, and all that it will bring, and I’ll keep you posted as much as I can here on INTC — whenever I’m not studying, lobbying, playing with Oskie, or having dinner with my family!