Yesterday afternoon, we took a break from packing and went to the pool for a couple of hours. Emily met a friend and they romped around in the water, while I drank iced tea and leafed through a vacation brochure. In February, Dan and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary by going on a cruise! Our friends (Dan's best friend/best man in our wedding) are celebrating their 25th also, and they're going, too!
Next to me at the pool were two young moms, each with a baby. The babies must have been about a year, maybe 15-months-old. One was just barely walking. I don't think either of the women sat in a chair the whole time I was there. They were in and out of the water with the babies, diapering, lotioning, covering, wrapping in towels. And all the while, chatting and laughing and enjoying their time together. Part of me was relieved to be able to sit and not have to tend to anyone else. And part of me ached with envy. To have my babies back, soft and sweet to hold, and kiss and swaddle in a beach towel, all warmed from the sun. And then, one of the moms was suddenly surrounded by three more, older kids. Digging in coolers, dripping on the dry towels, asking for money for the snack bar. I decided she was the one who deserved the cruise! And I thought back to the days when I schlepped all that stuff to the pool, along with my three kids, and how I would have sold one of them for the chance to go on a cruise! (Well, not really).
Today, it's back to packing. It's been a challenge, but in a good way. I've set up a huge supply of boxes, packing materials and labels and markers. The labels are colored and each floor in the new house has a corresponding color -- green for the basement, yellow for the main floor and pink for the upstairs. I've been writing the name of the room on each label and then the contents of the box somewhere close by. Emily is a master at organizing and packing. With a few directions, she'll pack up a bookcase or a cupboard in no time.
Tomorrow, we have closings on both of the houses, and our big move is on Saturday. All week the kids have been marking time with "this is the last Monday we'll be in this house," or "this may be the last time we'll have supper on our back porch." My thoughts are shifting from how-to-pack and what-to-give-away, to "where will we put the grandmother clock in the new house?" and "how will we arrange the furniture" and, the all-important, "where will we put the Christmas tree!"
For today, though, we're still packing boxes. And cleaning out the freezer. And cleaning the oven. And packing more boxes.