29 April 2016
We have lift off!
After a period of packing and sorting and washing and sorting and re-packing and vacuum-bagging, we have left.
This morning, Bear got a chance to say goodbye to his cousin Alexander before they both went off to school. (Bear goes to nature preschool and Alexander goes to Montessori preschool and I've had an interesting time comparing and contrasting the experiences, but perhaps more thoughts on that in another post.) Getting him up and out was a bit challenging as Bear has been on a course of steroids for his asthma which render him extra hyper. Extra hyper Bear. Let that sink in.
Benjamin and I went to pick up the rental minivan in Clarksville and them spent the rest of the morning loading it up. We originally thought that we would need to strap some things to the roof, but it turns out everything we need for the year fit nicely in the back of the van. Packing was facilitated by help from my sister Casey who drove up from Richmond to see us off.
My parents picked up Bear from school and brought him back to the farm. Benjamin's parents were there, as well as my brother-in-law Bill and baby niece Annabel, so there were seven people to see us off. Though we have explained to Bear repeatedly that he won't see his extended family for a while, he seemed quite up-beat and made his farewell by saying "goodbye spoochie-butt," and hopping nonchalantly into the van. (I was somewhat more tearful.)
We hit the road and drove to Cumberland to see my mom's cousin Mary Ann. It's about a two hour drive and we only had to stop once, so I consider it a victory! It was lovely to see Mary Ann and catch up. She is teaching a course on adolescent literature that I'm pretty sure Benjamin and I would both want to audit.
After dinner with Mary Ann, it was back into the van for another two hour jaunt to our hotel. Again, one pit stop for diaper changing, nursing, bathroom, and play place. At least we picked some place efficient?
Pax cried for most of the second hour of the drive to the hotel while Bear sang the Bob the Builder theme song in an attempt to drown her out. There were moments during this leg of the journey when I seriously questioned the wisdom of our plan to drive across the country with a preschooler and an infant, but I guess it is too late now!