Unfolding Odyssey

False Start

Today we were supposed to fetch our camper van and drive off into the distance. To cut a very long story short, we’re leaving tomorrow morning because our rental motor home has been swooning all over the workroom floor and needed a heartfelt pep talk with a new fuse and a couple of spanners.

This sucks because we were mentally prepared to leave today. Nevertheless, life goes on and here we are, at an unexpected twist in the road. I have the suspicion that it’s just the first of many. It’s left us feeling a little itchy and aimless in our very empty space. Our son may never sleep again with all the excitement. We’re all gagging to hit the road and shake off this web of sorrow that’s sticking fast.

If I think about it, we’ve been restless the past while – all of us out of sorts. The weather hasn’t helped either. While Calgary has been getting its snow on, we’ve been in a heatwave with 36 degree temperatures. This past week was hot and thick with goodbyes.

They’re harder than I thought they’d be. And that no-crying thing? Not a thing anymore. Now I’m a sad song away from tears pretty much 24/7.

Our little Oona was dedicated on Sunday, which was incredibly special. It was also a logistical nightmare because our girl is a wriggler and a squealer, with no sense of occasion. That’s why they usually do it when kiddo is still titchy enough to be quiet and dozy in daddy’s arms, best dress unwrinkled as she gazes owlishly around the room while people pray. Not so with our Noons. Not. So.

Managed mischief aside, it was a bittersweet occasion, because we’ve shared the first few years of our parenting journey with families from our church community. My first few years of mothering were only bearable because of the support and friendships I formed in my moms’ group. I soon learnt that you *need* a village.

There’s a panic feeling that wells up in the face of leaving such comforting familiarity, people we’ve shared big moments with. Being a parent opens up a whole new world of shared experiences, and in that space we formed precious friendships that are devastating to leave.

We also said goodbye to my sister in law, and that hurt like a gut punch.

Another community that found its way under my skin way more effectively than I ever could have anticipated is the home schoolers/ unschoolers/non schoolers (I now know that there are degrees of this). I realize that this crazy time of our lives has been manageable because we’ve been supported by a scaffolding of relationships. Now that it’s falling away I can only hope and pray we’re strong enough to go it alone for a while.

It’s freaking petrifying. So much so that the last-minute packing and sorting took a back seat last night as Louw and I drank to the good times. With this in mind, it’s probably for the best that our camper van needed to take a Me Day. Kismet, even.

Last night was really tough.  I went back to the ugly cries, at some point I had to put my phone away and just not have that last chat or drive-by hug with people we’ll keep forever in our hearts. It left me with an unfinished feeling. Like a nagging thought of something left behind.

I feel like the runtiest kitten in the basket by writing more on the topic of the feels, but damn this is intense. How is there not a quiet sanctuary in some secluded woody forest for recently relocated families? How have so many people gone through this and not made a TED talk?

People can be pretty incredible. Our capacity to handle things is astounding. I would love to hear about other people’s journeys because I wonder, did they fall apart in the process like I am? How did they put themselves back together? Did our pioneering forefathers bitch as much as I do?

I really can’t wait to get going.

10 hours after we’d planned on leaving, Campy Van makes it to our house. Looking forward to packing in and heading out tomorrow morning!

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