Nearly There

It is 4:00 am.

I’m not sure if it is the pregnancy or the floors and sofas I’ve been sleeping on for the last month, or the stress of the move, but sleep has pretty much escaped me lately.

I wake up frequently remembering something I need to do, needing to pee, hungry, nauseated, or to soothe a crying child. However, just now, I woke up because I was laughing out loud at my dream about my son. I’m so thankful for that – even though I will feel it tomorrow. But now that I’m awake, I’m hungry. Gotta love the second trimester munchies. In a few hours that will only be 10:00 pm- so I’m good right?

Oh the joys of jet lag, airplanes, and airports.

My husband & I have such emotional baggage about the airport- no pun intended. We dated transatlantic for almost five years. We put the long in long distance relationship. Airports are places of intense emotion- elation and sadness for us, and we kind of loathe them for it. I dread it tomorrow.

I’m so thankful because instead of saying rushed goodbyes to our family at the airport terminal, we decided to spend the day at this amazing family farm, climbing tree houses, going on tractor rides, watching lambs play, and bouncing on giant blobs with our family and said good-byes there.

Goodbyes are never fun, but this created a great last day memory in England and meant that I had to be organised enough on the last day to enjoy it- which I was. I’m glad the kids’ final memory of their grandparents from living here wasn’t an awkward backwards wave once we all walked nervously through security. And I’m glad I don’t have tears streaming down my face while I’m trying not to forget a passport, a bag, or a child.

We couldn’t have asked for a better final day or better weather. I am convinced that England on a sunny day is the best place in the world. Pictures to come!

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We hired a man with a van to cart all of our stuff to the airport.  (Not pictured- the kids’ carry-on bags, 4 carseats, a pushchair, 3 kids, a pregnant mum and her super hero husband).

I grabbed a handful of earplugs for the people around us on the plane- a small token that says “I’m trying.” The bigs will be ok, but the little, 21 months, makes me nervous. I’m bringing her little baby doll and a doll pushchair for her to stroll up and down the isle with. I hope this keeps her occupied. I’m feeling flustered just thinking about my pregnant self and a toddler on my lap in those cramped claustrophobic rows. Yuck.

The Kind of Friends You can Pack

If I told you that 1.25 of those suitcases is full of stuffed animals, it might make you laugh. I was trying to see if my seven year old would let me part with just a few, but I only managed to get rid of an almost decapitated half-cat, half-blanket looking thing.

Not ideal.

“Mom, these stuffed animals are my friends!” She said emphatically on the verge of tears at my request to bin or donate one or two.

I do not have a single kitchen utensil or pan, or extra shoes or some of my favourite mementos, but I have pink monkeys and blue rabbits and a whole family of tigers just to name a few. Who can leave their kids’ friends behind?

My daughter also grabbed an obsolete mobile phone that was lying around and chatted for nearly 30 minutes this afternoon. “Who was that?” I asked her. “Maraline.” she smiled.

My husband and I looked at each other. “She’s back.” When we moved to England, my daughter, almost 5, had such vivid imaginary friends that the host of characters, Maraline particularly, became a part of our whole family’s psyche.  These friends were so prevalent and so dear to her that I scoured the literature to find scholarly articles to see if I should be concerned.  I can see her processing everything that is happening and using as many tools as she can. Reuniting state side with Maraline is one way she is coping, and I think it is very cute and very adaptive.

When we moved to England six weeks before her fifth birthday, I told Scarlett that our goal was to makes some new friends to invite to her birthday party.

“That’s okay mom. My imaginary friends will be there.” she reassured me.

I turned the corner and burst into tears. And now I’m sitting here thinking, at least for the next 18 weeks before school starts, we have her stuffed animal friends to keep her company: I’m just glad her imaginary friends don’t take up any room in the suitcases. 

Meanwhile, we drove about five minutes from our house and Evan sees a housing development being built. “Is that America?” he asks.

“No buddy. We have to go far away on an airplane to get to our new house.” we explain.

“But it is a new house.” He points out the window and doesn’t see why these new houses aren’t America.

A whole new world awaits this kid. God love him.

It’s 5:00 am now and I really want some popcorn. So now I’m trying to decide whether to make some or try and sleep while I can. Big life decisions here.

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