In the week since I posted something, things have been moving at warp speed. We packed up our rental in Vancouver, hosted a swim/pizza party for the twins (who filled their Kindness Jar!), had a few last "playdates" both for the boys and ourselves, and drove nearly 900 miles to where I sit in Billings, Montana.
The worst part, probably, was the sense of being overwhelmed both emotionally and physically. I would stand in a room, looking at all that needed to be done (sorting: storage? shipping? luggage?) and break down in tears that I was even having to make those kind of choices because it meant one thing.
It didn't help that I was still in pain from my wisdom teeth (dang, those things are taking FOREVER to heal!) and I went and made my situation worse by quitting my vicodin-every-four-hours habit cold turkey. Fourteen days after surgery I decided I had had enough of feeling nauseous, dizzy, tired & grumpy. So I stopped, not knowing that vicodin withdrawal is just as bad or worse.
But somehow we managed to get it all done, and Saturday we hit the road headed for Montana. We stopped first in Moses Lake, Washington which I will blog all about once we are settled. Sunday we spent thirteen hours in the car driving from Eastern Washington to Montana.
And now we are here, in the home of our friends Joe & Krista from Alaska. Joe is already in Alaska, as he will be our Principal this year, but Krista and her four kids (ages 5, 4, and identical twins who are two) are here, as well as Josh's coworker (and my friend) Leah. Josh, Leah & Joe are all enrolled at Rocky Mountain College for their Masters in Administration. It's a one year program, that we are all really excited about. There is a week of on-campus orientation and the rest is accomplished online.
With all this traveling and these huge transitions, the kids have been struggling. Honestly, so have I. One minute I can't wait to get to Alaska, and the next I am tearing up thinking of missing my nephew's birthdays in October and Saturday lunch dates with friends.
There have been some massive tantrums. The likes of which I have never seen. Especially out of this one, my sweet Jack. Jack who is normally so reasonable. Who can trade toys and be generous. Who shares all the time and loves to be my helper. He has thrown grass-ripping, door slamming, toy throwing tantrums so intense that afterwards he is breathless and red from the effort.
Meanwhile the baby is choosing bedtime to express his worries. He will scream and arch his back as I attempt to rock & sing to him. I just hug him tight, whisper singing the words to him, until he collapses from the effort. Then he starts talking.
The first night it was, "Airplane rides kinda bumpy. Daddy keeps you safe. Brave dragon. Julie keeps me safe. Julie plays with me. Michael took my dinosaur. Where's Daddy? I don't like it." On and on, talking about traveling, being in the car, playing with his friends here, concerns over who he will see and not see in Alaska, and his disdain for Josh's absence each day while he is at school.
My mama heart is breaking.
Today it was almost too much. Tantrum after tantrum. Reactions to things that were so minimal... I thought I was going to lose my mind. Finally in the afternoon I just set them loose in Krista's beautiful backyard, and I laid in the grass.
I kept reminding myself to stay in this moment.
To worry only about today.
But I will admit that thoughts of our return trip (another near thousand miles in the car with three children!?! No! No! No!), our final farewell to loved ones back home, and our four airplane rides to Marshall kept returning to the forefront of my mind.
I pray now that I can continue breathing, wearing patience like a cloak, and be the mommy these kids need right now. One who is understanding and fully available to them as they try to understand all these changes.
Together, I know we will get through it.