Everyone has their own way of preparing for a grand departure. In the flurry of it all, it’s important to look out for some unique indicators that it’s really time to go. Like when your mother stands sweating in your shed, among a sea of vacume-bagged personal belongings that you know you really don’t need to keep. But you’re keeping them.
And she’s still smiling.
Or when your fingers smell like moth balls, or when you’ve had the cleaners do an “exit clean”multiple times and you’re still not “exiting”.
Like when your husband has opted, not to (please) pack his bag, but to go to war with every last palm tree standing in the back yard- may God grant his wish that he return in a year and never pick up a palm frond again.
It’s probably time to go, when you’re not willing to crack a new tube of vegemite and you have to cut open the pack to get the last dregs out for brekky. Or perhaps, truly, when the vegemite dregs are gone and the only good thing in the fridge to go with eggs is … spring onion.
Like when you’ve “practice-packed” 6 times and for some reason the baby items still consume 80% of the packing space. Just surrender and go.
Like when you’ve swapped sleep for drawing up to-do lists on pieces of paper beside your bed, and emailing yourself tasks in the middle of the night.
Or this is a good one- like when, with 24 hours before departure, senseless cotastrophising starts, and rears its head in humourous ways, like thinking your child can’t hear you, like he might be deaf in one ear, and yep, like a neurotic mother, you rush him back to the hospital for that hearing test he already passed at birth. Ah yes, says the ENT specialist, it’s time to go, crazy lady.
Like when you’ve had too many sad and happy farewells and too many farewell champagnes. Wait. you can never have too many champagnes.
It’s really clear, when you wake up on that last morning at sunrise, the lists are almost all ticked off, and just quietly, the sky seems to tell you with its clouds and its colour, that the departure burden has lifted. You look forward and upward. You feel your heart and tummy tickle with anticipation and you can imagine yourself soaring up there with your son and your husband, sky high.
The truth is, there was still work to do after that sunrise. And plenty of sweating. But with endless support from the best parents one could ever hope for, the work load was light and the company was sweet. When planning for a global adventure with small child and large husband, you must accept all the love and help you are offered, let go of the lists at some point and be satisfied. The work will never be done until you get to the airport. At least that was the case for me. And we now know, it’s time to go.