“There must be a lot to do for a move like that.” I had been discussing our impending move to China with the grandpa of my boys’ preschoolmate, when he made this very accurate observation. For us, preparing for this medium-term move involves trying to sell our house and get rid of most of our earthly belongings.
There is something liberating about taking only what you can fit in your suitcases (and a few boxes left at your parents’ house). On the other hand, it also makes me wonder if I will ever grow up, or grow roots.
Nevertheless, here we are, also mentally preparing the almost 5 year old boys almost daily for the move. Most mornings, they make the observation that since it is light where we are, it must be dark in China. Ethan talks about how he loves his cousin in China, though I’m not sure which one he is talking about (the older ones who played with them or the then two-year-old terror of the village who beat them up and grabbed their toys).
They say they are looking forward to it and their father is making more effort every day to use Chinese, but I still wonder how the shock of it will hit us once we are there and realize this is not just a vacation. And that they will have to learn Chinese quickly if they want to talk to anyone. I know kids are resilient, but a mama can still worry.
What I am doing about the mental prep: I have determined to attend the local Chinese Church again for them to be in Sunday School and around Chinese people again. I have requested some Chinese kids books from the library for their father to use at bedtime. I will also start reading my own Chinese books every day. I plan to start showing them pics again of our visit and talking about people and places as well as logistal matters like plane and bus rides.
The kids will be fine, but let’s just hope it’s enough to ease a worrying mom’s fears a bit.