It has been an emotional couple of weeks saying goodbye to our friends, family, co-workers, and our little town of Louisville, Colorado. We have a good thing going here: great jobs, awesome friends, a wonderful home and fantastic neighborhood. We are incredibly fortunate. We have everything we need, and more than we could ever hope for, right here. There are days when I question our choice to leave it all behind for a year. But leaving with a longing to return is far better than leaving without looking back.
Our days have been filled with goodbye brunches, lunches, dinners, playdates and parties. The highlight was the night we finished moving out of our house, when we joined 28 other neighborhood parents (sans kids) on Banjo Billy’s party bus. We whooped it up all the way to Denver to a dueling piano bar, and let loose like parents without kids do. Of the 175 jello shots that came with us on the bus, only three remained uneaten at the end of the night. It was a slow, bright and headachy next morning for the whole neighborhood. But oh, so worth it!
Since moving out of our home on July 17, we’ve lived in 4 locations – one night with friends after the party bus, a week house-sitting for other friends, two nights with Brian’s sister, and another five nights at a friend’s condo – all within less than a mile from our house. It’s as if we can’t let go. One of our last goodbye get-togethers was at our neighbor’s house adjacent to ours. It felt so strange after the evening was over not to just walk across the lawn and right through our back door and into our home, like we always did after hanging out with the neighbors.
I’ve been so worried about how all this change might effect Maya. We’ve been talking with her about the “Big Adventure” for months now, telling her about the people we are going to meet, the places we will visit, the things we will do, and that other people are going to live in our house while we are away. I keep thinking she’s going to freak out and say she doesn’t want to go, but she hasn’t. She seems genuinely excited about our trip, and has handled each transition to every new location extremely well. Even when she saw her empty bedroom (we moved all her stuff out while she was at school so she didn’t see it going away), and saw our tenants and their dog at the house, she was unfazed.
I’m sure at some point along our journey, she will ask when we are going home or say she misses her room, her stuff and her friends. But right now, she seems happy as a clam to be living in lots of different places and spending time with her little buddies. I don’t think she realizes these are “goodbye” get togethers. Probably when we hit the road, the fact that we are actually gone will hit her.
Kubu, on the other hand, is a bit of nervous wreck. You can’t really prepare or explain to a dog that it is leaving home for a year. She’s sticking to our sides, desperate for pets, and skipping meals. We may have to get a prescription for doggy Prozac to take the edge off. Luckily, she’s an awesome car traveler, and once we hit the road, hopefully she will start to relax.
Brian and I are feeling a mix of emotions – sad to be leaving our friends and family, and both nervous and excited for the adventure that awaits us. We both felt our guts wrench when we handed over the keys to our house, and every time we say goodbye to someone, we are fighting back tears. The longing to return is in us, before we have even left.