We are a week out from the move. The house stands in utter disarray, but many things have been placed in boxes, the walls wiped clean. We all dress every day and smile at people, make it to our destinations relatively on time. For all intents and purposes, we look like we're holding all of this pretty well.
But there does seem to be an underground current. I have a stye in my right eye that hurts all day and night. Last week, I called AAA for the first time in years because I locked my keys in the car. Two days ago, my sister and I went for windy walk on the beach. My Prius key (a small rectangular piece of plastic) was in my pocket, and periodically, I'd reach down to make sure it was still there. It was. We walked until I felt tired and KJ starving and then turned back, knowing we'd reach the car at the point of very tired and hungry -- perfect. Conversation was good, dolphins, close, sun on our faces. As we turned up 34th toward the car, I reached down and there was only a lady's slipper shell in my pocket -- no key. The last time I remembered touching it was at the farthest point of our walk. We looked at each other. Our wallets were locked in the car. There was nothing to do but walk again. So we did, trudging on the soft sand, achilles and ankles aching, searching for a black rectangle, knowing that the beach ingests everything. But I was sure we'd find it, positive. I could picture it lying on the sand and our driving away. We found our footsteps, like seven year old detectives, and combed the beach, sure it must be close. But it wasn't. And wasn't. And wasn't. Conversation fell quiet. We kept scanning. And soon we were again at our farthest point. We'd been walking for two hours. Though the tide had gone out, we couldn't move to packed sand because we had to keep to our footsteps. I wanted to lie down. I did, actually, and then we hiked all the way back to the car, keyless. Fortunately, Kaia Joye had brought her phone, so I called AAA on the way, and called Toyota. "Without a master key, we'll have to reprogram your system and a new key will cost..." I was thinking what a waste of $80 -- "$500." WHAT?! I called my only friend whose number I know by heart and though she wasn't picking up her own child, she rescued Eden from preschool (because by now we'd walked all the way through preschool). Long story short, AAA unlocked the car. We left it at the beach, piled our bags, selves and the kids' booster seats into the pick up truck and rode home to SEARCH for the missing spare key, before getting the car towed to the dealership. Somehow, miraculously, I found the missing spare almost immediately. We ate the best-tasting, most long waited for fish taco of our lives and unlocked my car.
The next day, after sending a few texts in the morning, I promptly and completely lost my phone for hours. Eden found it under a pile of laundry later in the day.
This morning, after sending a few texts, I promptly and completely lost my phone again, and it is still missing. I am searching the Internet for apps that will make it loudly beep, but it seems that for all of them, you have to have thought ahead and already enabled such a program on your phone...
I am not the only off balance: We had Silas's parent-teacher conference last week. As soon as we sat down, his teacher whom we love said, "I think I'm seeing the angst of moving now. Are you guys seeing this at home?" At the same time, I said "no" and Ben said "yes" - ha. She went on to describe how in the middle of work time, Silas had tied his shoelace to the chair; how another day sitting at his desk, he'd tied his scarf from his neck to his leg and then tried to walk around; and how the day before, he'd eaten a crayon. Eaten a crayon? Yes. Maybe he's just getting comfortable? No, I really think this is about the move; this is not the usual Silas. The next morning Mrs Boyd, Silas and I had a little powwow before school to talk about moving. Later in the day, Silas told Ben the meeting was "REALLY good" -- thank goodness for the people who speak reassurance to our children.
We are, somehow, going to make it. The house will finish being packed; goodbyes will be said again and again; and I will find and keep track of various electronic devices. Though the cherry blossoms aren't waiting for us in DC, the plane will arrive to take us there; the kids will settle into a new time zone and school; and some new, unimagined rhythm will begin.
In the meantime, one foot in front of the other. I feel deeply content and deeply depleted. I have a hard time answering the all day long "how are you?"'s. Tears wait close by, sleep alternates between deep and thin, and the baby, now at 13 weeks, keeps on growing. Who's in there? We'll find out the sex on Monday.