Today made up for yesterday in the enjoyable, lucid moments with friends where it was just normal and we could be fully present. It was full. I’m exhausted, but since I’ve been exhausted nonstop for about a month, I’m no longer deterred by my exhaustion.
Just keep going. This is important and the end is in sight.
Our nanny came up to the B&B to help with the kiddos at 9. By then I’d been up 3 hours with Little Man and had snuck him out of the room and to breakfast so his sister could get some extra rest. He enjoyed some iPad time and I blogged and drank far too much coffee. I brought our french press and Mudcup coffee so that it would really count.
Mediocre hotel coffee get my day off to a bad start. But I digress…
So at 9 the kids explored the B&B garden and we met with friends for breakfast. Then Tyler hung out with more friends while the kids and Kalpana and I had a playdate with Little Man’s best friend from preschool and his momma. She and I made photo albums for the boys so they could remember their friends from this year. The sun was shining and the garden was overflowing with flowers. It was lovely.
Then Little Miss took a nap while Tyler and I frantically put together photo albums for all of our friends. We wrote notes in each one and put in group photos of all the fun we’ve all had.
I’ve always wanted to “leave well”, to leave behind thoughtful gifts, notes, and to eallly say goodbye. But when it came down to it I was always so frantic and overwhelmed down to the last second that there was never time for the thoughtful ideas. And never time for goodbyes that I could enjoy– much less remember. So we raced with the kids down to the cafe and met our 12 closest friends. They had helped me prepare a little surprise with cupcakes and candy for Tyler’s birthday, which will take place as we cross the ocean headed home.
A 16-hr flight is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good birthday. My bad for booking the flights on June 10th. Both my husband’s 35th birthday and our 6th anniversary. Whoops.
We sang and everyone said the kindest, most thoughtful things to us. The one I remember the most is a couple friends’ comment that we welcomed them into our home whenever and for as long as they wanted to stay. One of the guys said we became closer when he started cooking in my kitchen.
Then we sat around and played Spicy Uno and I finished filling and giving out everyone’s little photo albums. We played ping pong and ate pizza and drank frappes.
It was the most perfect last day… ever.
Then we tried to sneak out and casually say goodbye. But 15 friends followed us all the way outside and up the hill to the car. Tyler stood on the sidewalk and read the lyrics to a Chariot song that was so appropriate, then the clouds came down on us and rain started, and we ran for the car.
We drove around the entire mountain–the back way– because of traffic, the kids and I looking for leopards (I have yet to spot one, though everyone else has). And every single driveway and section of woods brought back memories. The graveyard, the language school, the lookout point Lal Tibba, the Crossfit gym and boys’ home, the cottages. And we talked about our perfect day. And how grateful we were for these people who had let us be ourselves and allowed us to be effective and entrenched in community, just as we are. And just how good God is to show us all of this as we go.
So we raced inside through pouring rain, and low and behold, the power was out and the flashing lightning was the only thing lighting up our room. And we packed with our phone lights in the dark while trying to get the kids to stop jumping on the bed and tearing their clothes off. And then the ceiling started leaking, and actually filled up half a bucket in an hour. And we laughed and said, “Only in this mountain town can the nicest B&B have no power and water pouring from the ceiling and no one bats an eye!”
So tomorrow morning we’ll drive down this mountain and fly to Delhi. Every time Judah asks, “Now are we going to Pawpaw and Mimi’s??”, we have to explain all the steps that lead up to that. And the steps are getting fewer which is making Judah (and us!) happy. Just 2 nights at a delhi hotel and we’ll be on the big airplane home. Then 2 nights with the grandparents and we’ll move into our new house.
But for now I am so very grateful to begin to learn how to leave well, to be intentional, and to accept that I’ll never do it perfect. I didn’t pack all the things just right. But I did laugh, and really listen, and I took time to let my friends show sorrow and their love to us– which truthfully is so uncomfortable.
But we all need it–to express and accept all these feelings. It’s so very, very good for us.
And maybe thats why I feel more healthy than I’ve ever felt before.