words by jenny
We finally have an answer! One way tickets have been purchased and on June 17th we will climb on board a plane headed south and move to Quito. Feels unreal.
The afternoon we told our kids that our tickets had been purchased was a rough one. We took them to Starbucks to celebrate with cake pops and then walked home. Backpacks and shoes came flying off as we unlocked the front door. Along with the usual lunch boxes and homework dropped on the floor, the emotions came tumbling out in full force. For so, so, so long the date that we would move to Ecuador had been so abstract. It was always somewhere off in the future, unknown and fluid and not yet concrete. And then suddenly it was not so abstract anymore. June 17th. Solid. Firm. Known. Life changing.
I think our kids felt some relief for having an answer to the question of when we were going to move (as did we), but the new knowledge was also met with mixed feelings and emotions that demanded escape and were lived out in tantrums and overreactions and tears and bad attitudes. As we settled into our after school routine, I launched into a little monologue about how we are all facing a big transition and we all have many conflicting emotions about all that is going to happen and we all just need to do our best to extend each other a little more grace in this season.
And with eyes rolling (yes, we have entered that era of parenting – awesome), our dear boy proclaimed in a very exasperated voice, “Ah! Mom! You have been saying that for months and months and months!”.
And he was right. I have been saying it for months, as much for myself as for my small people with very big feelings. This season of transition has been long and we have all had our ugly moments in the midst of the unknown and the not yet.
I have been replaying the moments of that afternoon over and over in my mind the past few days. And while this stretch of the journey for our family has been somewhat unique and intense, the reality is that life is always in transition. Relationships are built or relationships end – transition. Jobs are lost and new opportunities emerge – transition. Babies are born or parenting dreams go unrealized – transition. World views are shattered or assumptions are challenged – transition. Loved ones die or a bad diagnoses comes along – transition. Systems of support are broken down or life giving community is forged – transition.
My prayer is that in the midst of this transition and every large and small one that comes after it, that we would continue to learn about, struggle with and pursue grace. In the tears and the excitement – grace. In the goodbyes and the “Nice to meet you’s” – grace. In the doubt and in the certainty – grace. In the now and in the not yet – grace.
For myself and for others – grace.