Apparently, there’s a gigantic snowstorm heading in our direction, ready to blanket the entire east coast with multiple feet of snow and cripple the area for days on end. We went to the store this afternoon for a routine trip of staples and found that the shelves had been ransacked in preparation for the coming apocolypse. I should have known there would be no bread, toilet paper or milk. Alas, we’ll rough it with tortillas, kleenex and coffee creamer if we have to. The last bit of the day, I rushed around in preparation. The last things were pulled into storage from the patio and the rest of the Christmas lights finally came down off the house. I set the snow shovel by the front door and the ice scraper in the front of my car. All the hats, gloves, snow pants and snow boots are in the hall closet. We’re ready and now we wait until Mother Nature decides to actually bring it on or not.
I did all this preparation rather grudgingly. I suppose I was completely caught off guard and far, far out of the mind set that we actually are deep into winter and snow shouldn’t be a surprise. My mind has been fixed on tropical beaches and humid cities, busy planning outfits that involve tank tops and strappy sandals. Snow boots are about to be the last thing I worry about . . .
Because, luck willing, at this time on Wednesday two weeks from now, I’ll be trapped in an airplane with four small children and a couple hundred other people that hate me, headed to the opposite side of the world.
I’m sure everyone that has heard about it in any sort of way are already sick of every single detail, but guys? I’m flying four small children from the United States to Singapore, alone. Just typing that sends a strike of cold fear into my heart as I wonder what in the hell I have gotten myself into. This has to be the stupidest idea we have ever come up with.
I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to prepare – lists upon endless lists of clothes we need, schoolwork, medicines, entertainment, documents, reservations, gear, tranquilizers, etc. – while sleeping in broken fragments thanks to a perpetually teething toddler and having the very limits of my patience tested every time I turn around (which I’m sure is rather obvious from the general theme of my last couple posts). Two of the kids completely grew out of all their warm weather clothes from the last summer and just pulling together enough to last them a week in the equatorial temperatures has been a monumental task. Tank tops and bathing suits aren’t exactly well stocked in January. The baby has needed sandals, Miss E went up by two whole sizes, MJ needed a full body set of sun coverage, and Tater has needed some random in between size that just doesn’t exist and has resulted in a ridiculous amount of orders needing to be returned. Then there are all of the logistics involved in simply packing luggage for all of us and who is carrying what and how is this getting to there and what will this one eat and what will that one endlessly read. And then, there are all of the issues to take care of when leaving a house and bills and responsibilities behind for five weeks, which is an entirely new level of adulting that I still don’t think I’m capable of yet.
Oh, yes, did you catch that back there? FIVE WEEKS. We decided we might as well go big or go home when it came to hauling everyone around the world, and I suppose that if I am going to travel alone with the four of them for 28 hours each way, it should really count. We’ve got a little bit of the travel time on each end that adds on to our trip total, but we’ll be out of the country for a little over four of those weeks we’re gone from home. We’ll see Chinese New Year in Singapore, explore Angkor Wat in Cambodia, get up close with elephants and tigers in northern Thailand, and then finish with movie set worthy beaches in southern Thailand. I have a hand written calendar that is scribbled in to every minute detail I can possibly think of and just two short weeks to scramble around and conjure up everything I have forgotten to take care of. Things are a far cry from just winging it with a flight and somewhere to stay when we traveled so long ago before kids.
We’ve lucked out so much in that this opportunity moseyed on along in front of us, and that all of the big issues like tickets and passports and general health have gone along with few bumps in the road. Our school district is wonderful and practically thanked me for giving the kids this kind of education outside of a classroom, making sure the transitions out and back in would be as simple as possible. Now all we have to do it try and stay sane through me pulling the thousands of loose ends together without standing at the airport on Wednesday morning with nothing more than a giant knot in my plans.
Here’s hoping and packing and planning!
(By the way, I will take every single travel suggestion that anyone out there wants to throw my way. Reading article and blog and checklist after checklist has continually turned on the light bulb over my head and made me rush to add something to my running list!)