I’m a blather-er. You’ve never heard that word? Apparently it’s a Norse word, but people use it a lot in Ireland. As in “She’s an awful blather-er” to describe someone who goes on-and-on-and-on and never really gets to the point. That’d be me, most of the time. Which is why when I’m writing a blog post I have to make a huge effort to be brief and stay on point. But today I’m going to indulge in a a little navel-gazing introspection and blather for a moment. Feel free to sign off now if you’re not interested.
These days, I sit on the bus on the way home from work, dreaming up and partially writing fun blog posts about the awesome places we’ll be going and things we’ll be doing on our family world travels, but once I walk in my front door all thoughts of eloquent prose dissipate in an instant. I finally understand why artists may choose not to have children. I can’t think about writing while I’m defusing arguments between my kids or thinking about what they might like for dinner and by the time they’re quietly playing or reading, my brain is fried.
This is reaching a critical point at the moment because my kids are very stressed. They’ve known about our trip for over two years now. In Italy, our urban backpacking trip was a “proof-of-concept” experiment for my husband and I to verify to ourselves that our boys would be able to handle this style of travel. They had a blast. They were more dubious about our recent experience hosteling in Ireland but amused by the novelty of this style of accommodation. They’ve been involved in many conversations about where we’re going and what we’ll be doing. They drove the decision to incorporate schooling into the trip. But the reality of what we’re doing seems to be just hitting them now. As I box books and sell furniture around them, they’re starting to appreciate the fact that we’re really leaving Seattle.
So right now, they’re wigging out in all kinds of ways. You might say that I should have expected as much when I sold out their beds from under them (they’re currently sleeping on mattresses on the floor), but they’d grown out of their bunk-beds anyway. Yesterday’s pandemonium came when I asked BigB to empty his desk (because I’m selling it today). The sulking was Olympic standard. He’s never really used the desk as a desk!! Even though I still have a monster packing to-do list, we went for ice-cream and talked about how he was feeling. He’s scared. Mostly about what it will be like when we return. Will he go to the same school? Will he be in the same class as his friends? What will his room look like? (Since I said he’ll get a new, bigger, bed and desk). It’s interesting to me that he has no questions or worries about the trip itself.
CAM was resisting all involvement in our trip preparations. When I asked for his help on Tuesday, he pointed out that it was “unfair of me to expect him to help me pack for a trip that he doesn’t want to do”. (Imagine a big parenting deep breath). I said that since we’d leased our house, whether he wanted to travel or not, we still needed to pack up our stuff. He’d obviously thought about this while I was at work yesterday because he came to me in the early evening with a hug and said “Mom, tell me what I can do to help you for an hour”. I was so happy I nearly cried. Then he continued “And when I’m done, you can let me do what I want to do for an hour without bugging me”. I think a promise an hour of zero nagging while he plays video games in exchange for his help in boxing books is a fair trade. We’ll see how long that agreement lasts – I only need another week or so and then we’ll be done.