Preparing for an international move

The weeks and days leading up to the move were more than I anticipated. There’s quite a lot to do to prepare for an international

The storage unit, which now houses most of our possessions
The storage unit, which now houses most of our possessions

move. Not to mention the various levels of emotional well being (or lack thereof) experienced by everyone.

Romeo worked out his final 2 weeks of his working-for-the-man day job. I finished packing and cleaning out the house with the help of an amazing professional organizer. The kids had more sleepovers than this mama would normally handle because they needed a lot of last hurrahs before leaving. So how did everyone deal with the stress of the big move? 

Romeo dealt with the stress by shutting down. He couldn’t make decisions about the simplest things. I needed to know what had to go in storage and I had to make decisions of how to handle all the workings of a 5-person household. He had a much shorter fuse as well.

For me, everything under the sun had to be handled before we left. I hadn’t been for some of my regular checkups and they all had to be done before I left. In my mind, I had potential cancers unchecked and several doctors had to assure me that wasn’t the case. I also processed by sending Romeo to all of his checkups. He complied with a smile. Everything checked out okay. On top of the neurotic medical appointments, I had to fix things that hadn’t been taken care of. Like a ring I inherited from my grandmother that had snapped on the bottom. I had to get it to the jewelry repair shop. As if we could not leave the country without repairing it. I had “preserve my wedding dress” on that list. We’ve been married for almost 10 years. You’d think I would’ve preserved it by now. My computer had to be backed up and reformatted, my devices had to be backed up and emptied. Brokerage accounts had to be opened.  It was like I couldn’t move forward without handling everything I could possibly add to my list.

Goose. She handled it like Romeo and had a hard time making

Sleepover face masks
Sleepover face masks

decisions.  Putting things in storage or planning to pack them were tough decisions.  She always asks a lot of question and it was definitely intensified during this time.  Questions about Mexico, what life will be like, what will happen if we hate it, what will happen if she doesn’t learn Spanish, the list goes on and on.  She spent some time with her closest friends and had her final sleepovers for the coming months.

Cielo handled her stress by being with her friends. It seemed like every other night we had an extra kid at our house or she was gone to a friend’s house. She painted nails, slept in tents, swam in pools and played with dolls and faeries. She watched movies, played dress up and played “groomer” with the dog. It seemed like her to-do list

"I'm ready for my close-up."
“I’m ready for my close-up.”

consisted of doing everything fun with her friends before we left. I’d say she probably had it right and handled it the best.

Apparently Chichi is our most sensitive child. She had more emotional reactions to the move over the preceding two weeks than any of us. It’s got to be hard to be 6, feel like you have no control over anything that is happening in your life and be preparing to leave everything you know behind. Whenever she got tired or hungry or upset during those two weeks she would yell, “I’m not going to Mexico with you. I’m NOT moving. I’m NOT traveling.” Followed by tears and hugging. What do you do when your child is melting like that? It broke my heart. Sometimes I just wanted to hug her and say we could stay. One day we melted on the same day and it was not pretty. Her final try at rebelling against the plan: She threw her passport in the trash. In a fit of anger, she grabbed the passport and dumped it in the kitchen trash can. Of course, we dug it back out immediately. But she is going to be heard. I fear the teenage years with that feisty little redhead.

But now…we are gone. Let the adventure begin!

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