Day one of packing is complete.
The boys beds are gone. Their room is nearly empty.
We put Abigail's mattress on the floor in their room so that they could sleep there. She is sleeping in their room on a little kids' blowup air mattress. We thought the "slumber party" feel would be a fun way to handle the change.
We retrieved the few stuffed animals each one of them had picked to keep with them during the three months we are in transit. The rest of their stuffed animals have already been packed and are "on the ship."
As we kissed Isaac good nite, we noticed he was teary-eyed. "I'm trying not to cry," he said. "I'm trying not to be worried that something might happen to Small Doggy and Blue Bear while we are moving." Small Doggie and Blue Bear are Isaac's absolutely most prized possessions. He paused and said, "Will Small Doggy and Blue Bear be in heaven?" Then he asked how old Daddy was. He thinks people die when they are 100 so then he started trying to subtract to figure out how many years until Daddy dies.
So much stress and concern for such a little boy.
JB is very outspoken about how unnatural moving is. About how recent a development in human history living away from people we love is. About how stressful this life we have been living is.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that the military life offers an amazing opportunity for children and adults alike. I will never regret the opportunities we have had to travel the world and expose our children to a variety of cultures.
But it is hard on a child to see everything they loved packed into a box.
It is hard on a child to say good bye to people that they love repeatedly. Over and over and over again.
Heck, it's hard on me.
And I'm a grown up.
Right now, Hannah is obviously oblivious. Abigail seems confused by what these people are doing in her house. Sidge appears concerned that his special request items won't be packed, but he is otherwise going with the flow. Our Isaac though is nearly six. He is seeming, this time, to really get the permanence of what is happening. He seems to feel the loss that we are all experiencing.
While we are unbelievably excited to return to America, the last four years of our life have been overseas. And this house, despite its funny smells and cold floors, has been home. My kids are used to living in a bubble -- a safe and slow-paced life that is about to be taken out from under us.
It's a process that we are travelling together.
It will all be fine, of course, but that process can be stretching and growing and a little painful.
(Especially when I am beginning day 1 of our estimated 90 days without our bed!)
Your prayers for our family are greatly appreciated during this time of transition.