Walking papers

Well, it is official. We have been informed that we are moving. Leaving France.

Finally leaving France.

Unfortunately leaving France.

When I let friends know that we have a moving date, everyone asks “how do you feel about leaving?” I draw in a breath and say that I have mixed feelings. I try not to well up with tears but I can feel that tingling feeling in my nose meaning that my eyes are instantly turning red and my eyes will begin to water.

When B told me that we were leaving, I almost couldn’t believe it. After 2 years of delays, I just sort of believed that we were going to stay here indefinitely. Although I know we weren’t. The company has wanted to get us out of here for a long time now. It is expensive living here, of course, and they are looking at their bottom line. They aren’t thinking about our lives here, how our children have grown up here, how this place is all they know as home. The week he told me we were leaving, I would burst out into tears, sad to know that the end of this adventure is near.

The moving company came yesterday to evaluate the items that we are taking back. This is the second time we have done this, so this isn’t such new territory for us. Now I know what to expect, what to keep in suitcases and what to put on the sea container that we won’t see for 3 months.

A lot has changed.

We don’t have our dog to worry about. The amount of stress that was involved with bringing here here was incredible. I never imagined that we would leave France without her. But we will.

The kids are now old enough to wheel their own suitcases through the airport and change the channels on their little screens. They can speak another language. They have emotions now that we didn’t have to worry about when we came here. Every day they either miss their dog or they are sad about leaving all of their friends here. We had a “last sleepover” for Brannan and his friends on Saturday. He knows how many more weeks we are here and he has told his friends and his teachers on his own accord. He listens intently when other mothers at school ask me “how I feel” and he tends to adopt these same feelings.

I hope they don’t forget this amazing adventure we have had here. How we can be on a road trip and they ask “Are we in Italy now?” or “Are we in Switzerland yet?” Or how I told them that candy will shoot out of the top of the Glockenspiel in Munich at 12noon when the marionettes dance to keep them from being bored. I hope they don’t forget ski weekends full of friends and picnics in the snow and camping in Austria and going to Oktoberfest (although I think I’d rather forget that one).

These last few weeks are going to be busy. We have one week of skiing with our best friends and then we come back and pack up our belongings. We need to sell our cars, cancel bank accounts, get rid of the clutter that doesn’t need to go back. I’m trying to enjoy the last little bits of France while I can – the boulangeries on every corner with warm delicious bread, delicious desserts and macarons.

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There are things that I’m not going to miss, of course, but I don’t need to get into that right now. We have had such a special time here that I don’t want to erase the positive memories with the negative ones.

We have a going away party scheduled for the 27th. I don’t know how I’m not going to cry. It will be an ugly cry too. It’s going to be embarrassing but that’s ok – I want everyone to know what an impact they have made on our lives here in France. I will take a ton of pictures and eat as much unpasteurized French cheese that I can.

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