Monday, April 27, 2009


I believe the house is actually coming together and may in fact be done by the weekend. Eric is very proud of himself; he removed the stump of a tree by himself and is painting and touching up and repairing and cleaning. I am trying to shrink the size of the boxes of papers that were removed from my closet and are lined up in two rows in the living room. I have filled two huge boxes of personal papers to be shredded or burned and a much smaller box to store. I feel very proud of the piles of discarded material. When the NCC or AmVets come by to pick up clothes and toys and other donations, I used to make it a goal to give away ten bags, except that one time I prepared ten bags and no one came to pick them up and it rained and everything went moldy and had to be thrown away. Now I never get more than two bags ready for them. They came last week and left with a highchair and a child backpack and baby clothes. I am finally giving up our baby things, somehow I could not let them go for the longest time.

I am finding photographs from our years in Baltimore and many more from Tara's childhood in Salt Lake City and California and a few from my chidlhood too. I love looking at the photographs and often get slowed down by the process. It is so easy to get disracted and find myself doing everything but prepare for our move. It is an emotional experience, reviewing the details of our lives here in Baltimore and saying goodbye.

I am embarrassed by my ineffectiveness. I presumed it was a way not to face the reality of leaving, but it is time to look forward and just 'do it'. My husband sees it as a necessary task, and systematically goes to each item on his list and just gets it done. I get waylaid by the sense of loss and resistance to leavimg and all the details of the process. And consequently although I am making progress, I am ridiculously slow and obstructionist in a way. This should be easier and more matter of fact, but it feels onerous and overwhelming.

I have resolved to be positive and look upward and onward. All this pain has a purpose and in two and a half months we will be in Ecuador and learning Spanish and finding a home and getting our lives organized and working in a new country. Of course there are no guarantees about our lives in Ecuador, it may turn out to be awful and a great disappointment, but I have to believe that it will be wonderful, or I cannot go through all this stress!

I argued with my daughter Tara this weekend. I tried to talk to her about her plans for Ecuador; I wanted to know what she had planned and what it meant to her and what she wanted to get out of her year away. She has no specific plans and has expressed interest in moving from one part of the country to another trying out different volunteer possibilities. She finally admitted that she just wanted to escape from Balitmore and New York and our sojourn in Ecuador gave her an opportunity to make that escape from her life. Of course the psychiatrist part of me told her that 'wherever you are there you are', that is, escaping to another place does not solve anything, and she became angry because I was being a therapist and not a mother. When I am a mother I know to keep my mouth closed and not judge her or advise her or disagree or question. It is not easy being a mother.

Maya worries about missing her friends and all that she knows here in her life. She is not keen on going, so I have to work to be positive and excited about our trip. We met with her violin teacher today who is very concerned about her violin practice; she does not feel we will find what we need there for Maya. On the other hand, I talked to a woman in my pilates class whose niece went to Quito for a year to play cello with the symphony before she studied for her masters at Carnegie Mellon and may know some musicians to connect us with. I am sure Maya will continue with her violin and her ballet in Quito, and will perhaps have unique and exciting musical experiences during our time there.

I am living on faith, expecting it all to work out well.

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