We've reached the days of warily sizing up the pantry and the freezer, trying to plan meals arout what we have (good news, kids! the frozen brussels sprouts are still ahead!). We're on what should be our last bottle of olive oil, and what hopefully, God willing, will be our last box of Tide. I'm deciding which towels are being shipped across the Atlantic and which are going to the thrift store. Which toys are going and which are disappearing. Got the old marital rings resized and am rooting for all the things ordered online to trickle in on time. Squeezed in a visit with a local rheumatologist, just for shots and giggles. We shipped our car and I bought Oz some more pants. All the slightly ludicrous material details of our life are coming under a weird laserbeam focus, the silly preferences and the necessary-for-our-healths rolled into one to-do list.
No, we're not moving to a third-world country. There are those who would argue that Belgium is winning on the civilization scale. (Don't ask us--the only time we've been there, it was because we got lost driving from Luxembourg to Paris. We saw some fields and cows. Feel free to burn me in effigy for pretentiousness right now.) We can buy pants in Belgium, but it would be easier to not have to immediately. It will be nice to show up unburdened by things that are too small and unnecessary.
We're making choices about cheap trinkets, and we're talking through the constant massive life upheaval with the kids daily. We are not worrying about housings, churchings on the other side, because those will be provided. I am pondering how to pack homeschool materials for the up to two months we could spend in the hotel on that side; I don't see us enrolling Eva in school until we know where we'll be living. We are saying goodbyes over and over again, sucking back tears and trying to keep it casual (or, if we're Eva...not).
I had a quiet morning on the warm beach with the kids for the first time in a long time today. It was so lovely. The waves splashed and funny clouds lurked on the horizon over the giant ships and one far-off destroyer. Helicopters went hither and thither and the men with guns on the range down the beach went pop-pop-pop. Eva made a strawberry cake using a shovel and a bucket; Oz poured sand down my neck and called the water wet. And then there is snot-wiping and lunch and walk and naptime and asking my friend's daughter to help dig me out from under the toys and the dishes, because there's no pause button, not even right now. I don't know why my words loosen up around moves, except that it's so common yet interesting, so public and acceptable a mild hardship.