We've had tears. "I don't know how I'm going to say goodbye" is Pippa's latest lament, said through barely controlled sobs. She looks forward to seeing her nearest and dearest before we go but feels overwhelmed by the emotion of the situation. Susannah chooses pulling funny faces over conversation during Facetime with Bruce, but at bedtime she finds more words: "I miss Daddy!" she cries, adding, perceptively, "And you need him too." She was also dismayed when I said she couldn't really apply for after school clubs next term because of leaving ("Why do we even have to go to New Zealand? It's affecting everything!")
Since the turn of the year we have been facing farewells and last times of doing things before we head off to the other side of the world.
The pace of these seems to be accelerating now. Pippa's had her last cello lesson. Today I returned the allotment key - alone (the girls said it was too sad to come with me).
It's not all doom and gloom of course. We still have a giggle round the dinner table, and we are busy with our usual dancing, gymnastics, swimming, etc. We are looking forward to getting to New Zealand and exploring. Most of all we are looking forward to being with Bruce again.
But it does feel like a lonely slog at times. There is still a lot to do to get ready for renting the house out and shipping our belongings. There is daily progress but I'm not entirely sure if the progress is quick enough. It will be like Christmas though - it will happen whether we are fully prepared or not.
I am aware of trying, but not necessarily succeeding, in doing the best thing as a parent. Mostly I am going softer. I've pretty much given up on pushing Susannah with her times tables this week. She only has three weeks left in school - and with Good Friday and an Inset day - they are not even full weeks. Does it really matter if she doesn't know 7x8? I am doing my best to reassure about the changes - not dismissing them as trivial, but trying to listen and respond. It is not always easy though when the clingy-ness factor goes up, or I hear for the 100th time about a sore foot (it's the whine in the voice that irks the most). I keep administering cuddles.
Like most of the population in the vicinity, I think we will all be helped along by a dose of sunshine and the warmth of Spring. Cold grey days are not what we need for lifting the spirits. Although early this year, we are in need of the Easter break already - relaxation with family and friends, fresh air and fun. Being somewhere other than home, because already we are all too aware that soon we will need to make our home somewhere completely new to us.
Of course we are lucky. We have chosen to make this move. We have chosen to unsettle ourselves and to create a home somewhere else (in a beautiful place with a great reputation for family life no less). My heart goes out to everyone who has no choice but to move and little choice about where they go, sacrificing all because they are fleeing war or famine. We are migrants, they are refugees. The media sometimes muddles the too terms. But even for our chosen path it's emotional and will be for some time.
|Final daffodils from the allotment.|