I knew that eventually it would all catch up with me. A month home with two bored kids and now in a compound to boot, let us just stay that we are all growing a bit weary of each other’s company. Husband is busy with work which means kid entertainment rests on me. Let us just say I am tired. Even with new Legos, gobs of Christmas toys and new playgrounds in less time than you think I am bombarded by entertainment requests. In their defense, they are used to going to school 6.5 hours a day, five days a week. Hanging out at home with mom and each other pales in comparison to the constant engagement that they are used to.
And, because of jet lag we are on a strict no nap policy (if not the kids are wide awake at 2:00 AM) and that leaves no breathing room for me. Thankfully we go in for Isabella’s evaluation in four days and hopefully they will begin school in the next two weeks. After that, I hope some rest and routine will set us all on the right path. At the moment though, I am regretting not taking a moment for myself before I left.
Anyone who knows me well knows I love to pack. It is an art form that I have mastered and relish the opportunity to use it. My OCD nature treats it like a game and others stand by in bemused bewilderment. Anywho, my traditional approach to packing is to bring as little luggage as possible while maximizing the options in the case. The husband and I went on a two week European vacation with only a carry on. Enough said 🙂
But, with this move I was confronted with a 4-6 week delay between us arriving and receiving our crates in kingdom. So, I couldn’t just send everything in the crates and stick to my usual method, although in hindsight I probably should have. Added to this equation too, was my desire as a mom to make the compound feel like home as soon as we arrived. Knowing that the kids would be confronting newness around every corner, I wanted them to feel familiarity at home. So, that meant I turned to the more is better approach. And I mean way more. Two checked bags per person, plus our allowed carry ons and a cat. It was a bit of overkill admittedly, and while we had to deal with the rubbish that is united for baggage check in I must admit it is nice to have full closets, lots of pictures and things from home to decorate the place, and fun stuff to add to the cupboards.
If I ever do something this epic in scale again though, I think I will edit more carefully and stick with my tried and true approach. I know the husband would endorse this wholeheartedly!
In Louisiana, lagniappe is defined as something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure. When we awoke in the morning we had a choice to make. We could either continue pouting that our plan went awry of we could see this as lagniappe. We chose lagniappe. And the glorious thing about lagniappe is that it is always an unexpected blessing. We caught up on sleep, we spent relaxed time with friends and family, and enjoyed being in our house for a few more days. Stress dissolved, the bags were left untouched in the living room, and we all enjoyed accepted contentment.
But, the situation on the 4th had left one critical part of this move in limbo. My kitty. On paper now, she could not come. Her export permit would expire on 1/6. Now, I know many folks would not try to bring an animal with them on this trip, God knows it would certainly be easier and cheaper too. You all would be in my husband’s camp. In my defense though, I was moving halfway around the world to the land of abayas, permission notes from my husband, and restricted mobility so any arguments to the contrary fell on deaf ears.
So, I embarked on a campaign to make this happen. Either an extension of the government form expiring on 1/6 or a reissue of the form to cover the few days it was needed. And, when I tell you I had an army help me do this it is no exaggeration. Even now, I cry thinking of the the kindness friends, family and strangers showed me through this process. And, in the end I had reassurance from the Saudi consulate, along with an additional usda endorsed aphis form just in case, and airline approval. All five of us would be going at last.
The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. From picking the husband up from the airport and all of the ensuing merriment, to holiday travel and boisterous visiting, combined with illness and a mile long to do list January 4th was both fast approaching and a long time coming. I spent the week prior fretting about bags and what I forgot, how much they weighed (should have taken more out for the record) and just general nervousness. So, when two days before we left we received a notice from Lufthansa that our second leg of the journey to Saudi had been cancelled and we had been rebooked on an earlier flight, thus shortening our layover in Germany by two hours, I tried to roll with it. We finished my random to do lists and settled in for a good night’s sleep Friday night. All was well.
Saturday morning we all awoke excited, nervous and stressed. The kids were bouncing off of the walls in anticipation of finally moving. I was stressed and nervous because that is what I do and the husband was relatively calm and collected because, let’s face it, someone has to be. And then, I got an email…from United…saying our flight was delayed by two hours…
Which had us arriving and departing at the same time in Germany. We are good but we are not that good. Commence panic mode. I took over breakfast and kids. Husband got on the phone and stayed there for 5 hours trying to find a way to make the trip still happen that day. We got as far as loading the cars and getting the kids strapped in. And, as we were getting ready to head to the airport he got a call. We would not be leaving that day, or the next, or the next. I cried. There was nothing that could be done. Just shitty timing of a northeastern storm and limited flights to saudi on our carriers.
Everyone gave hugs and left. We retreated into the house to put the kids down for quiet time and lick our wounds. The act of packing and saying goodbye left us both emotionally and physically raw. I finally understood what Paul Simon meant when he said weary to the bone.