Friday, December 17, 2010

Moving Update: Peaceful

So. I must be coming across as such a basket case that people have begun praying for me. (Which is good. Because I am a basket case and I do need you to pray for me.)

But, people, I have felt the prayers. I awoke this morning, so overcome with sadness. Today would be filled with so many "lasts." And, Shawn didn't make that last flight home (although, the mediation was successful - can I have an "HALLELUJAH!"?), so he would miss the kids' last day at school. I was so overwhelmed that it felt like my arms were floating. That's about the time the first person told me they were praying for me.

The kids and I got in the car to drive to school. (Here's the part where I would like to be able to tell you that I lovingly herded them through our morning routine without shouting and snapping their heads off, but that would be a lie. I was stressed out, we were running late and I took it out on the innocents in my path. Parenting Fail. *clink clink - coins in the therapy fund.* I did apologize to them. *taking some coins out for a Starbucks*)

In the car, Elizabeth was holding her stuffed poodle and Spencer was holding his nutcracker. This is the conversation I overheard:
"Nutcracker, do you want to go on a date night?"
"Ok. Do you want to have a sleepover?"
"Ok. Come on. Let's go to my room."
Ok. That's just funny. I don't care who you are. That poodle is a Good Time Girl!

I smiled.

I got to school and there was a letter labeled "Ali Johnson" in Elizabeth's cubby. It was quite a few pages. I opened it and read:
"Oh! The Places You'll Go!
by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!..."
It was the poem Oh! The Places You'll Go! with a note written at the end. I gulped and crammed it back into the envelope from which it had come. I gulped. I gulped. I blinked. I smiled and blurted out a goodbye to Elizabeth. I walked out and thought, "Who DID that?!" I went to the last page and saw the signature. I sought out my friend, Elizabeth's teacher from last year, Lindl and yelled at her for trying to make me cry on the last day of school.

We both laughed.

It was only moments ago that I finally felt like I would be able to read the note she added at the end of the poem without crying. It was so undeservedly kind. And, she asked me at the end if I needed to go potty (a reference to the little Ali that was in Elizabeth's pre-3 class last year. Every time Lindl asked, "Ali, do you need to go potty?" I thought, "Did she really just ask me that?" It took a good two weeks before I stopped being confused every single morning at drop-off).

I laughed.

The 1st graders had a Going-Away Party for Spence. They each told him something they liked about him or a memory they had of him. One little girl said she liked Spencer "because sometimes he really looked cute."

I smiled.

Then this happened on Twitter:

I laughed.

Our darling, sweet chaplain said a prayer specifically for our family during the Lessons and Carols service. It brought me peace.

Priscilla sat with me at Lessons and Carols. She reminded me that I accidentally groped her the other night and my finger got hung in her bra.

I laughed. hard.

It's so easy to be tough when the kids are around. If they saw me sad about this move, they would think, "Wait. What? You're taking us to a SAD place?!" So, I put on a smile. I say we're off on our new adventure. I tell them to tell the people who love us that we'll be back to visit! And, I ignore the ache in my chest.

But, now I'm sitting here alone. The kids are off playing with friends down the street. Movers are packing all around me. And, you. You are praying for my family and me.

There's still the ache in my chest. But, things keep making me smile and laugh.

I am at peace.


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