vintage_goodbye_chakka_zeke_blogWe are rocking our kids’ worlds right now, more than we anticipated.  We travel with our kids quite frequently, but I guess nothing like this!  This isn’t traveling…this is moving!  This isn’t going to Mexico for a week or two, this is moving to another country for two years!

My rose-colored glasses I’ve had on since the beginning of this process, are now starting to fade a bit, allowing me to see what is really going on with my family…and for the first time, admit it to all of you.

Since March, I’ve just on automatic pilot.  Go, go, go.  Need to pack.  Need to organize.  Need health check-ups.  Need passports.  Need to send in our documents.  So much to do.  But I was excited about it all.  I was excited that others were excited for us.  I loved talking about it.  If someone asked me if I was scared, I said no…really, I wasn’t.  All I could see what this amazing adventure ahead of us, and the equally AMAZING cultural and educational experience for my children.  I guess it hit me during this last week of actually moving out of our home…what we were really doing.  I stopped and looked around me…without my rose-colored gasses, and this is what I saw.

I saw my 4 year old not comprehending why she had to give up her dog and her cat.  Eden_and_Zeke_vintage_blogThe tears, the questions, the sadness I couldn’t turn around for her.  Her first real moment of loss in her life.  It was heart-breaking.  My daughter is an animal lover.  If she doesn’t end up in the Arts, I imagine her as a vet or working for causes like Best Friends or Much Love.  This was a big deal for her.  I had to stop and talk to her about what we’re doing and why.  Explain to her that really good people were going to take care of them, and other children would love them just as much as she does.  In the picture to the right, you can see a tear blotched face.  It’s real.  It’s emotion.  And I need to help her through it.

Belly_Bear_vintage_blogMy 2 year old really doesn’t have and understanding of what is happening, but she does understand that things are different.  I didn’t notice her ways of exhibiting her stress until just this week.  I noticed that she’s not eating like she normally does.  She my best eater.  And now, she wants nothing to do with sitting in her chair and eating meals with us.  She will only eat if we are feeding her, while she stands next to our chair.  A new habit…one I hope corrects itself after the move.  Another sign of stress has been her sleeping patterns this week.  We are now in my in-laws home…sleeping, eating, living.  Here, she’s not comfortable sleeping in the unfamiliar room.  For a few days, we have been trying to put her to bed at night, and she just cries and cries.  She’s scared, it’s new.  Nap times are fine, and longer than normal…but it’s light outside.  So, last night, for the first time, I put my 4 year old in with her to sleep.  Not a peep.  She was happy and comforted to be with her sister.  She has spaces that need to be filled right now.

My 6 year old has maybe shown the most signs of stress through behavior.  We’ve always had sibling rivalry between he and his 4 year old sister, but now it’s more than ever.  I started hearing more unkind words, more fighting, more crying and whining.  He’s very emotional right now…VERY emotional.  He’s acting out in many ways, all the ways I’ve tried avoiding through good parenting and the reminder of “good choice” or “bad choice”.  It doesn’t matter right now.  He’ll try anything, and then I feel like he’s always in trouble because I can’t separate my anger and what he’s done, from the understanding of his complex emotions right now.  One major ache he has right now is saying good-bye to his best friend from school…Bryant (pictured in the video).  He told me one day, “mom, I was dreaming last night, and I wanted Bryant to live with us when we move.”  My eyes welled up with tears.  Here’s a little clip of them saying good-bye to each other. {youtube}0SC20GawE6Q{/youtube}

All three of my kids just want to keep the familiar.  They want what they know makes them feel good.  They want attention.  I’ll admit, the last week my husband and I have been compeltely consumed with moving.  Every day we’ve been at our house, packing, moving, throwing out, storing…all the while, my kids are sent to neighbor’s houses or sent to play outside.  Not very fair when all they want is to be with us.  But we’re done…the renters move in today…our part is over. 

They miss their TOYS!  Oh my goodness, that’s hard!  They packed their suitcases with them, and they are locked.  Grandma’s house has a few, but of course not THEIR toys.  So, I took them to the dollar section at Target and let them pick out some things to play with at grandma’s until we leave.   I’ve been letting them stay up late watching their favorite movies and shows.  I’ve been letting them eat their favorite foods from wherever they want, because who knows when they’ll have those foods again.  Tonight’s request from my son…IKEA meatballs.  So, to IKEA we go for him.  I wanted to share a video I did of the kids, an interview if you will…letting them tell you what they are excited about, and what they’ll miss.  They enjoyed doing it, and I think it helped to talk.

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Me?  How am I doing if I ask myself honestly?  I was fine…I really WAS.  I had nothing but excitement.  But this last week has tested me for sure.  I was looking around our empty home and realizing what we were about to do in 1.5 weeks.  I got a pit in my stomach, and felt a bit uneasy.  I started taking pictures of our home, and video of the kids…and that’s when the tears started flowing.  It was about time.  This is a big deal and I can’t pretend it’s anything but that.  I needed to acknowledge my feelings.  I’m excited, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s ok to be a bit sad as well.  We are leaving behind all we know…home, friends, family, life.  My nights are a little less restful as things run through my mind.  But it will all be worth it.  It’s just reality of moving.  I wanted to share it.  “It’s not like moving to Colorado” as my husband keeps saying…you won’t see all of your stuff in a couple days when the moving van pulls up.  It’s packing what you can into two suitcases each.

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