In a time with many changes and uncertainties, it's interesting (though in hindsight a no-
brainer) that the hardest goodbye took place this morning as we said farewell to Evie. Paul's parents and nieces Rebekah and Kaela flew out to take care of Evie for us, provide some support for packing, and to drive our two cars to Alabama. The Stanley grandparent caravan headed out early this morning, before the packers came and obliterated any sense of home that we had remaining.
Even yesterday, Kymberlee was seriously doubting our decision to do our 2 week adventure trip without Evie, as she was having serious withdrawal just letting other people take care of her while we planned and packed for the past three days. I even have to admit feeling out of place. We left the childless life behind three years ago and I was finding it almost boring not our child with us for the whole day. It's ironic that the one thing we might complain about and get weary over – having to take care of a child – becomes almost the defining element of your life. I may intellectually know that fact beforehand, but experiencing the "reverse culture shock" of returning to being just a couple was much more severe than I had expected. I miss my little girl. I miss seeing her room with all her toys, animals, and books. I miss walking her to pre-school (one advantage of not having a job for a couple of months). I miss most of all her hugs, or as my wife says, her "good medicine." In the brightest of moments, I realize I'm just preparing to be an empty nester some day, practicing the pain and hope that comes from not being the main nurturer for your child.
Moving onwards, we are at least seeing glimpses of the adventure ahead. Putting on the bedding in the Eurovan (heck, we might even try it out tonight) and starting to load the gear, I'm getting that tingling that comes from knowing something new is coming. So we are successfully, if not reluctantly, shedding the past and embracing the future. So as I sit here in my (oops, its not mine anymore) house, naked but for some chairs and internet, I close the last post sent from 1740 Whipple Avenue. It's in good hands and so are we. Onwards.
Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Stanley as well as Rebekah and Kaela. It would have been much more difficult without you. Now you know what we are like when we are stressed out. And you still love us, we think….
Paul, Kymberlee & Doodle