Last Leg

Thursday, July 11, 2013

BACKTRACK here and read about our ROADTRIP.

We were more than halfway there.  We just picked up our girls in Kansas – alive and well and bubbling with excitement to get to their new home they’d been hearing about for weeks.  I can only imagine this idea to their little toddler minds.  What did they envision?  What did they fear?  What did they anticipate?

All I could think about was “Just get there.  Just get there.  Just get there.”

Our plan was to drive about 10 hours the first day and get to St. Louis and stay the night at a nice hotel as a family, then we would only have about 6 hours to cover the next day before moving into our new home.  It was a good plan, but another flat tire brought a major time setback, and so it was 9pm before we checked into the hotel.  I don’t think the girls crashed in bed before midnight.  Oy.

crazy girls...crazy TIRED girls

The hotel was great (I would highly recommend the Drury Plaza at the Arch in St. Louis if you ever find yourself there) but we had our sights set on our own home and our own bed and our own everything – and sometimes when you just long for home, it doesn’t matter how nice your surroundings are…if it’s not home, it’s not home.

The next day brought as much frustration as it did fruition.  We were so insanely excited for this final day to be here; and yet, traffic and cranky toddlers have a tendency to obscure joy into pure anxiety.

We had invested in a DVD player for the car prior to the move.  This was gold.  [Insert judgment for my modern parenting skills here.]  It paid for itself tenfold before the first movie even finished.  Still, toddlers want to MOVE and their car seats aren’t exactly designed for energy-expenditure.  By the third viewing of Wreck It Ralph, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I couldn’t take being asked “Where are we?” one more time.  And this was just about exactly the time we got stuck in traffic.  Again.  Seriously?

Suddenly it seemed like months of preparation had narrowed down to this final tunnel of squandered hope.  I thought I might lose it.  My last nerve was being frayed as we drove on and on and on, until a single vein of trust started pulsing inside me.  “Just get there. Just get there.  Just get there.”

Traffic.  Yuck.
And then, the city appeared.  Two thousand miles of road and fear and mystery and anticipation and anxiety and worry and doubt…now, behind us.  We pulled up to our new apartment complex.  We had never seen it before and not even seen photos of the inside of our apartment.  But, the sweetest sight was my family waiting there to greet us. 

My brother, sister-in-law, and their kids who live just minutes from our new home were waiting with open arms to welcome us to our new life.  My girls ran up and hugged them, and suddenly for the first time I felt a new clench in my heart:  “Finally,” I thought.   “Hugs of hello.

We were here to stay.

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