In some ways, this last week leading up to our departure has been much easier than its predecessors. The house is all packed. The renters are situated. We’re in our temporary room at Alva’s house and our to-do list is dwindling.
But now that the hard physical work is done, we are left with the emotional tasks. Thursday, school started here in Savannah. I went for a neighborhood run that morning, and the front yards were filled with students and their paparazzi parents. The young kids were standing tall and grinning with shirts neatly tucked, wearing high socks inside fresh white shoes. The older ones were posing with the too-cool slouch, backpacks slung over one shoulder and a hand on a hip.
I was masochistic enough to run past Camille’s school just as the fresh-faced kids were arriving, proud parents in tow.
And I admit, it wasn’t a good feeling. I know we have plenty of exciting things ahead, but it was so strange to watch our community moving on – without us. I told myself I could have a pity party on my run, but then I needed to buck up.
But I got home to find my daughter in a similarly gloomy mood. As a distraction, I thought we’d take Chance to the dog park and enjoy a bit of the morning outdoors. But as we sat on the picnic table and watched the dogs play, Camille sighed and said, “Mom, I don’t like this day.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Me neither.”
Instead of thinking about all the things we’ll experience in Costa Rica, it was a day to be reminded of all the things we’d be missing back home.
We did manage to cheer ourselves up a bit with fresh haircuts, Totoro socks, and lunch with Lee.
Then came the parade of goodbyes. I drove Monday up to Winder to spend time with best buddy Nicole. It was great to see her, and I loved our foray into Athens for lunch at The Grill, one of my favorite old haunts. But everything had that cloud of goodbye over it.
Then it was off to Conyers to see a USDA Veterinarian to have Chance’s health certificate validated. (Check. Check. Check.)
And then, I met my Dad in Atlanta for a Chicago concert – one of our favorite pastimes. We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company at dinner. At the concert, we danced to “Color My World,” in the aisle. We shouted all the lyrics to “25 or 6 to 4.” But then when morning came, we had to say goodbye.
Saturday was our official bon voyage party, and Alva and Erin put so much work into every detail, with the Gaddy’s being generous enough to host. It was a celebration of our adventure, and we felt very, very loved. But it was also a goodbye.
Now we have 4 more days until we leave. Four more long days of “last time” this and “final one” of that. I’ve thought often of the band-aid analogy – I don’t want to pull off the adhesive slowly. I’m a “rip it off” kind of girl. It’ll hurt, but it can’t be avoided so we might as well be done with it. Every goodbye is hard.
But then again, it’s not really goodbye. I’ll call it hasta luego. Until later.