Yesterday, Leah began cutting strips of paper (orange, “because the Mexican flag has orange in it”). She asked for a hole punch and some ribbon to string them on. I asked her what she was making and she told me:
“Departure flags. No, wait: friendship flags.”
I’ve asked her how she feels about leaving Olympia next week. Is she excited? A little sad? Leah just shrugs. She is unable to put into words how she feels about what is ahead, and what we are leaving behind. So she creates.
I know how she feels. I am excited. And a little sad too. Along with all the busyness of getting ready, it’s an incredibly emotional time. For our children, this is the biggest change they’ve had to face so far. For Michael and I, well, it’s certainly up there with our biggest too. We are all feeling the enormity of it in our own ways. Tension runs high between all of us. The sibling bickering has reached epic levels. Then five minutes later laughing fits erupt. Then someone falls down and the crying starts. And on and on.
After Leah strung up her bright orange friendship flags, we hung them across the cabin. She ended up with so many that they have barely an inch between them. A fitting reminder of how many good friends both in Olympia and all over the Northwest we have made here over the years, not to mention so many treasured family members. We’ve been so excited about our upcoming trip that it hasn’t fully hit until now what we are going to have to give up to make the journey. It’s a lot, really.