I don't know that the shock of a giant moving truck rumbling up to your front gate, or ten large men piling out and dispersing throughout your house with the same authority as an inconspicuous drop of food coloring turns a cup of water pink, ever gets easier.
The initial shock wore off quickly yesterday after we'd "desmontado" some of the spaces that held the most spiritual weight for me, like Clementine's room,
the boys room,
the day bed,
and our bed,
the place where just minutes after her birth we held Sweet, 7lb Clementine, in our arms. The most peaceful moments in all my life many of which have happened here, in this home.
Eventually yesterday I became numb to the gut wrenching, but all too familiar sounds of screeching tape. I watched the piles of boxes grow and box-shaped outlines of my belongings replace the home that we created here and made our very own in every way we are allowed.
Sam has proven to be the most calm entity during this move. He insisted that he skip school, to "oversee" the happenings and we quickly acquiesced knowing that it was simply what Sam needed to ease his passage out of Brazil. An important lesson for us all to choose our battles and give a little where hearts are concerned.
He never once broke from his self-imposed job of "FINK Project Manager." He sat atop stacks of boxes surveying his crew. He intermittently made rounds about the house, giving each moving man a Brazilian thumbs up as he asked them if everything was "tudo tranquilo?" As we stepped out with the boys to a much needed respite from the insanity for lunch yesterday, he reluctantly put our Embregada, Sheyla, in charge, leaving her instructions to watch the men carefully in his absence and to please give them water if they needed it
He and Peter spent the day weighing themselves on the industrial scale in between boxes of our things, as I weighed boxes of shoes teetering on the edge of making our weight for our air shipment to DC, a very fine line between taking enough toys for the kids and enough shoes for me. A delicate balance of the life of a diplomatic mother and meeting attending shoeaholic. "Hi, my name is Elise...I've got 33 years...worth of shoes."
Once Peter stopped yelling "I don't want to go to Washington DC! I don't even like Washington DC!" A place he can't even begin to remember from his first year of life (and we had assured him that he could take his blanket) he loosened up a bit. We indulged his worries with gummy worms, wagon rides for both the boys and their blankets, in the world's tiniest radio flyer wagon and an afternoon movie in lieu of naps.
Clementine was a little out of sorts yesterday, having only known the peace and tranquility that is our home in Brazil, she was a little uncertain of the chaos unfolding. We know though, from experience (what little that we have with just one tour under our belts) that the most important aspect of moving with babies is that it doesn't matter where they are or where they sleep, as long as they feel loved and safe they are always home.
The whole Clan-Hanna was in bed by 6:45 leaving Paul and I to a quiet house, stacked with boxes, a couple of caipirinhas, cold spaghetti and hot showers.
I pray for a lot of things as another huge change unfolds in our lives: For the continued sense of peace that I feel in such a time of insanity, the understanding and sense of adventure that grows within our kids each day, for our family to draw even closer in our travels, for our stuff to not sink on a slow boat to India and for Paul and myself to remember at least enough Portuguese to know when we arrive in India a little less than a year from now that we didn't in fact pack tacos in our household effects. I hope that sweet Clementine loves the USA, but always keeps the gift of tranquility that she has experienced in the past nine months....that we all do.
In just a day and a half, just a half a day more than it took in Florida we packed up our house. It seems we've acquired a few more belongings in the past two years, but the experiences the love and the tiny person that we've acquired since our arrival in Brazil two years ago, could never fit in just five containers on the back of a truck.
I felt strangely lighter and a little more free as that truck drove away, leaving only the most important items in my possession and an empty but totally full house that we have to run around in and ease our way out of just the way we came in, in the "ultimo" six days that follow.