Sunday, July 19, 2009

Witches and Criminals

It is time for the homestretch. Every day this week is devoted to details regarding our move to Ecuador. I drop Maya off at ballet early in the morning and then drive to the east side of Baltimore for fingerprints and my criminal record. Not that I expect to have a criminal record, but for my visa I must prove that I am not dangerous. Later in the week I will have a physical exam and an HIV test to prove that I am not going to transport a communicable disease to Ecuador. Passport photos for Maya and me are also required. Once Eric get his information, he will have to fly to Baltimore to collect the materials and apply for his visa in DC. If there are any glitches, we do not get our visa and will have to delay our departure. We are doing everything last minute, which is the way that Eric likes to operate. No reason to do anything in a timely manner. Of course, it was my passport that was the problem, but it arrived two weeks ago, and the house preparation took precedence until this week.

Having this visa will make life simpler in Ecuador. If we do not have the visa, we will have to travel every 90 days to Columbia or Peru to reapply for a visa and the process gets complicated from there. So this is important, and is my number one priority this week. Of course, being that I am stepping into the background and being the supportive part of the family team, I am not required in DC to get this visa. It is Eric's visa and I am the dependent. So many adjustments for me; being a subordinate is a new way of being.

I find myself slipping into work again, more than I had anticipated. I have patients that I just have not finished with, and will try to terminate with each of them this week. Somehow I have found myself with a few on each day of the week. Paperwork will occupy huge chunks of time and I absolutely must finish the piles on my desk. Unfinished work will just gnaw on me and I will feel unaccomplished if I do not complete necessary tasks. Thursday is my visit to my doctor; he is the rare physician who wants to spend as much time as possible with each of his patients. I wait for hours to see him and then he takes exquisite moments to question me and tell me about his life too. After hours and hours, I find myself getting antsy and agitated, but this time I want to just be in the moment and appreciate a doctor who cares enough to focus on me.

I am compiling lists of what I must do, and I am wondering if I have planned well enough to do it all. Staying with our friends makes it a challenge, because there is so much going on in their lives, that I have difficulty focusing on my own space. Today there was a 'witch tea party'. Seven girls dressed up in witch costumes, decorated cookies, concocted potions, and cast spells. Maya was hesitant to join the group without a costume, but Daphne put together a great combo for her and with some coaxing, she became more enthusiastic and poured herself into the role.

I am concerned about Maya. She clearly is struggling with the move. She does not want to leave Baltimore and expects to miss her friends and her life here. We are staying with Elmer, who has entirely adjusted to his new surroundings and his new family. I cannot imagine that he will want to leave in a year, he will have become so accustomed to the family here. That is difficult for Maya, since Elmer is her dog and she adores him. Elmer adores Julien and follows him around with love in his eyes. Julien is his new master now. Maya has lost her dog and her house. I find that if I am positive and excited about the move, so is she, and I cannot express doubts of worries, because that negates all the enthusiasm Maya has. It is tricky, because this move has defined our lives for months now. There is so much we do not do because we are preparing for our move. The buildup to the move keeps ramping up, and at several moments along the way, I have expressed a wish just to go and do it, get out of here, and I have heard that from Maya too.

So it was fun to watch Maya stress about not having the right witch clothes (we would have had several witch costumes at home if we were still there) and gradually transform and get into the moment and tell me that she did not want to leave the party to go to her accompanist session, that making potions and planning spells was too much fun. She stopped worrying like an adult and began to play and embrace the moment. She is truly a 'tween', between childhood and the next phase, when everything gets to be more complicated. I like the child part and the teen parts makes me nervous.

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