So we are nearing our departure date and our to-do lists are dwindling for some things and increasing for others. We’ve crossed off a lot of major things on the home front, and just sold the car on the weekend which was so easy, it’s making me nervous that it’s going to fall through. Fingers crossed it doesn’t, but the buyer (who didn’t even come see the car cause he’s in NSW) is having it picking it up the day before we leave. Our car salesman mate tells me, I’ll need to take the plates off the car when he takes it, get into Vic Roads and cancel my registration. That should be the last thing on our list before we leave.
I still feel as though we have lots of time to tackle the sorting, throwing and packing and I’ve been going room by room and at the moment, feel on top of it. Time will tell how I feel a week from now! We are having a trial pack tomorrow (I use the term ‘we’ politely but quite frankly, Rob’s not really charged with the packing part of this trip) and our lovely friend and neighbour Carolyn, is coming to help me with it. We’ve bought some vacuum packed storage bags that I think will help fit some of our winter things into the suitcases more easily. We also plan on having one ‘Paris’ bag so we don’t have to unpack every bag to find our clothes on the few days we have there on our arrival. Will report back on how the packing goes!
I know with any kind of adventure like this, it’s impossible to anticipate all of the twists and turns our journey will inevitably take. Add 3 kids to a travelling journey, and the unexpected is sure to happen! Of course, we are all excited about our departure and we’ve spoken at length about our trips, the hows, wheres and whens with the boys. Spencer has been studying his travel books, maps and reciting facts about various places we’ll visit. Oliver is counting his money and looking forward to buying a surfboard with his savings when we arrive.
It dawned on me a month or 2 ago, that Spencer was getting a bit anxious and sad about saying goodbye. A completely natural reaction for a 9-year-old, we talked about it and discussed how we would say goodbye but also how we would keep in touch with his friends. As you do as parents, you feel as though something is ‘dealt with’ and you move on. I should know however, that if something was an issue once, then it has every chance of rearing its head again.
Saying goodbye to our beloved beach house in Wye River was one such event, that I didn’t anticipate as being problematic. However, farewelling Spencer’s ‘favourite place on earth’ brought a flood of tears and sadness that night. In an attempt to overcome the sadness, we discussed new potential ‘favourite places on earth’ that we might discover in France and of course, going back to Wye River on our return which we promised wouldn’t change a bit. Within a few days, the sadness waned and time healed the hurt, as we knew it would.
Silly me, the next farewell wasn’t well planned for and I didn’t think that when our lovely nanny Johanna left to go back to Norway last week, that Spencer would be upset but man, was I wrong!
You see, Johanna was living with us for almost a year and became a close friend, big sister and daughter to us. She was an amazing helping hand with Charlie every day and of course, with Spencer and Oliver, but a bit less so as they were in school. But her sisterly presence did not go unnoticed by Spencer, who cried inconsolably and described for days, how much he missed her. She’d had a big impact on our biggest little boy, and whilst it’s not nice to see Spencer sad, I’m thankful that her special spirit did make such an impact on him, as it has on us.
Saying goodbye for each of us will be different and it’s obvious, Spencer doesn’t say goodbye very well and his sensitive soul, dwells on the sadness of saying farewell. We are now anticipating more bumps in the road over the next 2 weeks and have scheduled in some extra time to say goodbye to good friends for Spencer and I’ll have the tissues ready for the days leading up to our departure. I suggested he stay at home with me the day after Johanna left, so we could just spend some time together and so he could help me sort & pack his room. I thought that giving him some control over his own things, might ease the sadness of leaving and allow him to focus on the excitement of what will be.
2 weeks and counting…the butterflies in my own stomach have been coming & going. Excitement. Nervousness. Anticipation.