Today, when I woke up our 5 year old daughter, her first words were, “How many more days until we move to New Zealand?” I know that the adjustment to her new life there will involve various stages. I’m sure that initially she’ll be excited. However, once the realization sets in that we’re not coming back, that she won’t see her friends for a long time, that all the familiarity and routine that she was used to is now part of her past, there will inevitably be some sadness and anger. But for the moment, I’m thrilled that she is optimistic about our move, that this place called New Zealand holds promise for her. It’s her version of the land of milk and honey. Or Big Rock Candy Mountain. But with less cigarette trees, I’m guessing. Hoping.
At the moment, she enjoys fantasizing about the house we will live in and the garden we will grow. I can’t wait for us to actually finalize our visa status and arrange for a rental home. Then we can try to find Google Street View images of our new home, our new street, try to look for the closest playgrounds, etc., so that we can all bring our fantasies in line with our approaching reality. Right now, for example, Thora likes to imagine that our new home will have 2 rooms just for her. I’ve been trying to distinguish between “real homes” and “dream homes”. She understands, I hope. Although, she expressed aloud the other day that she hopes our new home will have a pool. Umm… How about a second bathroom? Can we dream about that? (That’s what I dream about. Seriously.)
And a garden. I’ve been pinning like mad on my pinterest account, images of backyard and container gardening. I’m exhilarated by the idea of year-round gardening. And grilling!
Here are some of the New Zealand-related topics that have come up recently between Thora and I:
We have 7 weeks until we leave for New Zealand. Seriously, this phrase is used about 20 times a day. This morning, Thora coached Auric on how to wait for the toy I will buy him if he earns 10 stickers for good behavior and she said, “First you’ll earn 1 sticker, and then another sticker, and the next thing you know, 7 weeks will have gone by and we’ll be in New Zealand, and you’ll have forgotten all about wanting that back hoe toy!” (Actually, it’s more like 7 weeks until we leave Cambridge and head west for a few weeks, stopping for visits with the grandparents, after which, we’ll depart from SF or LA.)
We are lucky because we get to have Spring and Summer followed by Spring and Summer.
Thora says I don’t even need to make any friends; she will do it for me. She will meet a nice kid and then say to that kid, “Does your mom want to talk to my mom?”
Thora is determined that we work and possibly live on a farm. I told her that I don’t have a job yet, but that when we get there, after a while, I might start working again. Completely unprompted, she said that I should work on a farm. And from that point on, she’s been very invested in this idea. Apparently, Sean should quit being a doctor and should work on the farm with us.
We will learn how to surf.
We might get chances to ride horses. But not just on fun outings, but because remember, we’re going to be living on a farm.
And finally, Thora told me that the new tank tops that I bought her, that she hung in plain view on the front of her book shelves, are being saved until we get to New Zealand because they are so beautiful and she wants them to be special.
I feel like she’s taking this very well at the moment. And, if the shine wears off once we get there, at least I have this blog post to remember this moment as I block out the screams of “You ruined my life!!!” coming from the other side of the slammed door to one of her several private rooms. I’ll read this post and get a good, long chuckle.