So, we got our official date, our plane reservations are confirmed, and after waiting over a year, everything became very real very quickly. All in all, things have been better and worse than I expected.
The hardest and most unforeseen problem we have faced hasn't been what to take, or which bags to use, it has been the people we are leaving behind. We prepared, of course, for the reality of leaving them. What we didn't prepare for was the tsunami of last minute meetings, parties, farewell dos and etc.
In one way it has been amazingly comforting to have so many people want so badly to get their last greetings in. In another way, though, it has been terribly frustrating. People have their own lives to live, and we have to somehow mesh hectic schedules. During routine times, this is accomplished easily enough. With only around a week left to pack, get our house in order, give the grandparents enough time to last them a year or more with out the wee ones, and all the last minute minutia...well, finding time to squeeze in a few dozen fare-thee-wells has been frustrating to say the least.
My days are filled with packing, cleaning, more packing, wondering just HOW I managed to collect so much stuff that needs to be shipped off to the local charity shop, packing, trying to find where, in the chaos, I laid down the bundle of important documents to take with us, and, then, another box to pack. Then there is the packing.
Hmm, I suppose we all know what has been foremost in my mind of late.
The farewells and parties have had another downside; in that my wee ones seem to suddenly realize they won't see cousins and friends for a long time. There have been a few tearful moments at these times. There has been some erosion of careful preparations to prevent emotional trauma to little travelers. There have been some gut wrenching decisions about who to see when and frustration at not being able to do everything we would like.
Still, on the flip side, these tears and frustrations only occur when there exists a slew of well wishers and loving friends who have taken time out of their lives to spend a moment with us. All in all, I suppose it is better to sob our way through the week than for it to pass with little or no notice.