Today has been a rough day. Actually, this week has been a rough week. Our double stroller finally gave up the ghost, meaning that I’m often stuck carrying two children, one in my belly and another on my shoulders. Talia’s hit an independent streak that involves un-potty-training herself and an extraordinary number of temper tantrums. The cultural differences that I once found endearing (such as the well-meaning old lady on the bus who insists on telling you all the things you should change in the rearing of your children) have recently become annoying. While I should be cherishing the remaining moments, I’ve instead found myself secretly wishing that I could fast forward time and miraculously be “home” again.
The truth is that most of my worries and fears have been deeply rooted in our move. Just the thought of trying to move ourselves, the kids, eight suitcases, and carry-ons is nearly enough to put me into pre-term labor. Somehow, we have to mobilize ourselves (and our loot) onto the TGV (high-speed train) to Paris, then to a hotel for the night, and finally back to the airport the next morning. While it would have been much more convenient to fly directly out of Lyon, we’re hoping that the $1500 savings is worth the inconvenience.
Naturally, we are leaving most of our belongings behind (no room for the front-loading washer, no matter how much we love it!), but that in and of itself adds to the organizational stress. Every single object that we own requires a decision—do we schlep it all the way back to the States, or arrange for its adoption into a new home? One way or another, our place has to be completely empty by our check-out time next Wednesday at noon, but we don’t have the luxury of throwing it all in a moving van (and I’m morally opposed to sending it all to the landfill instead.)
Fortunaly, this evening I stumbled upon the words that I really needed to hear from while studying Isaiah: "sois tranquille, ne crains rien, et que ton coeur ne s'alarme pas.” Translation into Kara-ese: Calm down, stop worrying, and let your heart be still. One way or another, it’s all going to work out all right.
Already, miracles are happening. Someone from our local congregation is lending us their van so we can move out most of the big stuff on Saturday. A friend is feeding us on Sunday since we will no longer have a stove. On Tuesday evening, other friends have offered to help move out the remaining items. Even more, our bishop (the leader of our local congregation) has offered us a place to stay on Tuesday night so we won’t have to camp out on the hard floor. On Wednesday afternoon, he and his brother have arranged to take us all to the train station and stick around to help load all of the baggage onto the TGV.
I am positively overwhelmed by this kindness and support. Somehow our year in France has gone full circle, beginning and ending with enormous acts of generosity that we will never be able to repay.
Ever since we have known each other, Jason has wanted to get a truck, primarily so that he could help other people move. Ever since we have known each other, I have balked at Jason’s dream for exactly the same reason. After all, I want to see my husband on Saturdays! Thanks to this experience, however, I can feel my hard heart softening. Maybe I’ll just have to become the designated driver who sneaks an occasional hubby handhold--stick shift, safety belts, bucket seats, and all.