Friday, June 17, 2011
Day 20 in the woods: Packing up
This has been the week of good-byes. Tying up loose ends in Virginia Beach. My final class for teaching. Seeing friends for the last time until Fall. We’ll be in Williamsburg, only an hour away, and still part of the boys’ school co-ops. So they are mild good-byes, as farewells can go. I can see everyone again. But it’s still been a somber part of the week.
Yesterday, Andrew was really excited about a kid who was staying in a nearby campsite. We don’t usually see other families during the week, since school wasn’t out for the summer until today.
We’d gone out to the Farmer’s Market to pick up food, and he came home and jumped out of the car to go find her again. While we were gone, they’d packed up their tent and left. Andrew was so sad, but then it became bigger for him. He started bawling these heart-breaking, soulful tears about missing his brother. And how his brother was his best friend. And how now he lost another friend.
I left a message for Jack to call, since he was at Grandma’s and not at camp yet. When he called back, I warned him: “There might be a lot of crying. Andrew is pretty sad. So he might not be able to say words.” Jack said that was okay, he’d help Andrew feel better.
Andrew reminded me of Will Farrell’s character in Anchorman, calling from the “glass cage of emotion.” Rolling sobs and completely incoherent speaking.
It was amazing for me to watch the interaction on the phone. I couldn’t hear Jack at all, but I could see Andrew starting to calm. Even laughed at one point and said: “His butt got hurt?!” Nothing like some butt-humor to heal a broken spirit.
When we started off on our mobile-family adventure, the family connection was a major element of it for me. Between parents and children: More time, more memories to stockpile (they grow up so fast!). But also, among the children. They will have each other for life, and someday, they can sit around at Christmas and talk about their crazy parents who moved them all around. Hopefully there will be the footnote: “But didn’t we have fun?” :)
Hearing Andrew’s sadness turn into calm, all because of his sweet little conversation with Jack, made me feel like there’s a very cool foundation being laid between the brothers. No, we didn’t have to live in the woods to do that. But I’m really appreciating this extra time to build up our family and stoke those friendships even more.
Tomorrow, we leave for two months on the road. I can’t wait to hear their little conversations in the backseat.