But our life in Wheaton has already begun. Eliana is busy designing her new attic bedroom to look like a jungle. I'm nearly drowning in medical forms for me and the kids. Schools in Illinois require medical, dental, and vision forms signed and dated by the appropriate professionals. There are school enrollment forms, a lease to sign on the house we're renting, moving arrangments to make, and travel plans to work out. I have a good deal of studying to do over the summer so that I'm ready to pass my German exam, ready to present a paper at ETS, and ready for classes this fall. My first meeting with Dr. Block is scheduled for the day we arrive. Despite the urgency of other tasks, I feel a sense of compulsion to do random, non-urgent things now, like shop for winter clothes while they are on sale and figure out a fall schedule that will allow both of us to work full-time with only 5 hrs/week of preschool for Easton.
Honestly, I don't feel like I'm handling it all that well. I've gone from 2-5 hrs/day of quiet, reflective study time to almost none, now that preschool is over. The goodbyes are starting to close in on me, feeling much like the 98-degree heat and choking humidity outside. It's obvious that God has opened this door, and we want nothing more than to walk through it, but it's exhausting nonetheless. I'm running on fumes and putting out fires and longing for a few precious hours to sit and reflect and sort it all out.
The kids are handling it like champions.
Easton is full of stories these days: "When I was a little boy, I got bit by a bug."
Me: "Really? What kind of bug?"
Easton: "A red bug."
Me: "How big was he?"
Easton (reaching way up high): "He was this big!"
Me: "Oh, wow! That's a big bug! Where did he bite you?"
Easton: "On my hand, right here."
Me: "And where were you when the big red bug bit you?"
Easton: "At the beach!"
Me: "Really? I didn't see a big red bug at the beach."
Easton: "But I did!"
And he's planning ahead, too. "When I get big and become a grown up, I'm not gonna suck my fumb anymore!" In anticipation of his 3rd birthday this month, we're talking a lot about big boy underwear and potty chairs, too. He was utterly delighted to learn that we'll be staying at a hotel on our way to Wheaton, and that we'll be taking all of our clothes and toys and even toothbrushes along! His favorite question this week is, "Can I bring this to the hotel, too, when we go to Wheaton?"
All of us made a "bridge" poster to help us think about what we're leaving behind in Charlotte (the teardrops on the left) and what we're looking forward to in Wheaton (the balloons on the right). Emma's first teardrop said "moving to Wheaton." She said she didn't want to go and leave her friends behind. But moments later she drew a balloon that said "making new friends." We know there are lots of special friends just waiting to be met! Today, though, we are somewhere in the middle, feeling pulled in both directions and praying for strength to finish well.