Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Although there are often lots of good things about moving--getting rid of all those cheap high-heeled shoes you bought at Target, for example, and living in a house whose yard has not yet been disfigured by dogs--there are often massive amounts of stress, work, and frustration involved too. There can be so much difficulty, in fact, that it can eclipse the good things and make you wonder if "moving limbo" feels all that different from, say, prison camp limbo. Or insane asylum limbo. Or, for that matter, hell limbo.

Two weeks into packing, the wall of cardboard boxes in the kitchen looks decidedly less impressive than it did at the beginning, when you so zealously, neatly, excitedly filled each box and wrote the name of its contents--"libros," "knickknackos"--on top with a big black marker. Now the boxes have settled, the large ones at the bottom sagging beneath those above, and their exposed surfaces have been turned into temporary shelving units for an exotic array of items: a bowl of cat food, an ancient teddy bear, a stack of notebooks, and a twisted bunch of beach towels. At first, the boxes looked purposeful and organized, a fitting rampart for the foundations of your bold new life, but now they look tired, confused, and messy--just like you.

Having moved seven times in the last twelve years, you know all about the ups and downs of vacating a home and starting over in a new one, so it should come as no surprise that you'd look at those boxes--there are only ten of them, after all--and feel discouraged by the amount of work that remains to be done. You're experienced, though, so you know everything will get done; you will get to walk around in a yard, at least for a little while, that has yet to be pooped on/dug up by your canine companions.

Of course, some things are different this time: there's the question of whether your canine companions will even make it to the new house, given that their rabies shots expire September 6th and Costa Rica might not let them in, and there's the question of what new house you're even talking about, seeing as presently there's no new house at all, just hopes of a new house. Then there's the question of how you'll communicate with people in a country whose language you don't speak, and there's the question of what happens if one of your kids gets sick and needs to go to the hospital.

But that, you know, is not the type of question you ask yourself at 11:45 pm when insomnia has wreaked enough havoc already the last few nights. Just like you don't think about the crocodiles hanging out in the river mouths, those questions should be shelved for now--on the boxes in the kitchen, next to the cat food, the teddy bear, and all the other stuff sitting around in moving limbo.

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