Refill, PleaseMay 23, 2011 at 1:34 am | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Transylvania | 22 Comments
Tags: Balance, Challenges, Children, Expats, Kids, Lists, Motherhood, Sleep, Stress, Travel
I am done.
I have spent the last several weeks planning and packing and asking questions and waiting for answers and going, always going. At night, I wake up and think I’m trapped somewhere with no doors and windows. I panic and scream, until my eyes tell my brain I’m safe. I listen to the house’s sounds, thankful for the rhythmic distraction of the clacking ceiling fan.
The kids, too, are feeling the stress. They have nightmares. They wake up early and melt down often. They ask when we’re going home. No, not our Romanian home, “our home home,” they say.
I am done. They are done. We’re done waiting and done worrying. But we have 12 days before we leave. 12 days. To wait. And worry.
I’m afraid I don’t have enough patience to last 12 days. Enough composure to settle sibling disputes without raising my voice. Enough energy to handle last-minute shopping and random rapid-fire questions about why geese honk and where ants sleep. I am done.
But I can’t be done. Because what comes next — settling myself and my children into a strange country and learning to call it home (or whatever “home” is in Romanian … my lessons haven’t covered that yet) — will take more patience than I currently have room for in my mental suitcase.
I need a list. That’s how I’ve made it through the last few weeks with my sanity intact. To-do lists. To-pack lists. To-ship lists. To-buy lists. To-clean lists. To-call lists. To-visit lists. To-forward lists. To-notarize lists. To-read lists. To-study lists. To-drop-off-and-pick-up lists. Pages and pages of lists. (And, well, my sanity is mostly intact.) But I need one more. One more list.
I need a way to remind myself what’s important when I’m out of patience. I need words to refill the spaces in my mind when emotion empties them. Heck, I just need some rules, even made-up ones, to put some boundaries on all of this unknown. I need these rules:
1. Laugh and breathe.
2. Take care of yourself so you can take care of them.
3. Let it happen, and let it go.
4. Enjoy everything, even when it’s hard.
5. Write it with a happy ending.
And I need to follow these rules, to hold myself accountable. I owe it to my family to make this a good year. I owe it to myself. But most of all? I want it for my family. And for myself.
Will you help me? Will you hold me (and future posts) to these rules? Do you have a list — and what’s on it?