We told Grace that we're moving about 3 weeks ago. There were just too many people coming and going (Poachers & Co) and too many of our things were being sold for her to not notice. She's a pretty sharp little girl. When we told her she reacted pretty well - we told her she'll have a new house, a new school and will make new friends at our new destination. Her first question was "Can Mrs. Wanyaga come?" Ok, I pretty much started crying on the spot - she loves her teacher SO MUCH she wants to bring her with us to a foreign country! Then she started packing. She went around picking up all the things that she wants us to not forget and then she put them all on our front hall table. Since then, we keep tidying up, and then suddently the front hall table will have a whole new batch of individually bagged toys.
Yesterday on the way home from school she told me, "Mama, I have to say goodbye to all my friends because soon I'm going!" I don't know if those were her words or someone else's, but I thought that was pretty darn articulate. We've made a calendar to count down the days until we say goodbye to our house and go on a big airplane to Farmor's house. She keeps reminding me of who is coming: Mama's coming, Far's coming, Noah's coming, my lamb is coming, my baby lamb is coming, my suitcase is coming, etc.
I basically think she is doing a great job handling the move. Given all that, she wants to be held almost all the time, she has regressed in her potty training (suddenly, lots of accidents!), her eating has once again declined, she has started waking up at 5 am again, and she is more hostile towards Noah like she was circa August and September. So, while she is mostly OK, she is not without stress in all of this. We are trying to help her verbalize what she's feeling and to include her in everything that is going on. We are trying to be very loving and consistent in our discipline. We know logically that she will be fine and that she is not yet 3 years old and will not be scarred for the rest of her life just because we're moving. We know this. But I am still worried about her! And I fear for the possible meltdown when the movers are here all day Thursday and Friday and our house starts to look like just an empty-other-person's-house instead of Grace's house!
For me, probably the hardest part of our move is leaving Grace's school. It is just the most loving, well-rounded, perfect little place for her. She has had the most wonderful introduction to "school" that I could have ever hoped for. She has friends and adults who she knows well and loves, and who know her well and love her. I've been going to her school pretty often in the last few weeks to take pictures of her doing all their various activities so that I can make her a proper album of memories from her school. I always leave in tears. It has been a wonderful community, for both of us.
I know she is not yet 3, but so far in her life she seems to have a pretty good memory. And I really, really, really hope and pray that for the rest of her life she has some special memories of her Kenyan life. It has been so very sweet.