In case you’ve caught word, friends, the rumors are true. In just five weeks from today, we will move our little family of five to a village in France.
It’s been a relocation we’ve considered for quite some time. Years, in fact. Long before we had children, but it wasn’t time. The arrival of our little boy Amani along with a host of other factors have tipped the scales to “need more help!”, “need more hands!”. It’s time.
The children know we’re moving across the ocean and how many planes it takes to get there. They do speak French and are also familiar with life at Mamie and Papi’s house. They have countdown calendars running and growing excitement. Excitement at the prospect of tire swings in the countryside, finally going to school, and visiting their donkey friend (if he hasn’t been made into sausage yet!?). Their world is also already unraveling a little bit. They watch strangers from Craigslist drive up and buy their toys and their furniture. Reality though, will only truly set in as we lay down suitcases in echoey bedrooms. When days pass without seeing “mailman Hank” and the little cousins. These will be some hard things about transition, but we tell ourselves it will never ever be easier than this to move our family to a new country. It’s time.
In these final weeks, our most important task besides closing down our house, is to leave well. We fill each free moment with a meal, a goodbye. It’s exhausting and painful and profound, this act of saying goodbye. We long to experience farewells fully in order to enter into the new season of life fully. Obviously, goodbyes are a two way street and we’re trying hard to honor and respect other people’s emotions: a wide range from friends who aggressively pursue us for every last moment that can fit into our time, to those expressing betrayal and have become distant. It’s painful, but we want to sit in that uncomfortable space called “grief” and hear our friends out. Each relationship is affected by our departure, but only a few choose to send us off in blessing and with open hands: thinking not of themselves and their loss, but of us and our gain (and our loss!). I have learned a lot from that and how to send people off. Like precious gems, I’ve treasured these empowering words of life as we move to a new season. It’s our heart to somehow encourage those left behind too, whether they see themselves as such or not.
Not so surprisingly, we’re both excited and nervous about the road ahead. There are a lot of unknowns but we can’t wait to walk more in what we believe is our family’s calling. We look forward to fewer conveniences, a slower pace in our day to day lives, and even fewer choices! It’s exciting for the children to live in the same country as their maternal grandparents for the first time, and let’s be honest, for this mama to perhaps have some helping hands given all of TM’s travels. TM and I also can’t wait to watch our kids forge their own Third Culture Kid journey. I personally look forward to the prospect of using my language skills and freelancing a bit more.
Since we are leaving, I feel I can at last write where we have been living all this time. Have you noticed I was all loosey goosey about our location? Ha! Don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s those Internet creeps! Well, now I can say that we were based in the “Mile High” city of Denver, Colorado. Denver has been so good to us. We’ll miss its blue skies and phenomenal weather, its hipster feel and a vibrant foodie scene. Its active and cultured denizens, the great outdoors and the inspiring and edgy, natural birth world. Most of all, of course, we’ll miss the dear relationships we have here: family, little cousins, friends and littler friends.
Five weeks from today, we will swap the Rocky Mountains…
for the Mont Blanc and Alps of the Haute-Savoie region of France.
Thanks for following our ongoing adventure.