So last week I broke down during Bible Study and questioned what in the world we're doing, uprooting and moving and all that.
This week I held it in a lot better, but I did leak a little. And it wasn't really even for me or about me. It was for and about K9.
You see, I'm doing a pretty good job of stuffing my feelings most of the time and I guess I'm sort of trying to teach my kids to do the same. I had to leave Bible Study about ten minutes early today so I could take K9 & E7 to meet friends at the zoo since I was going with the 6th grade class on their field trip to a Mexican restaurant (yes, I live to serve that way). As I got up in my group to leave I gave an awkward, "Well, it was really nice to know you all!" Yes, it was just as weird as it sounds here. No tears, just a kind of chuckle as I exited stage left.
I then went to pick up the girls. They didn't realize I was going to be removing them ten minutes early. They hadn't had time for proper closure. As they finished gluing the last things on the project they were working on it hit K9 that she was seeing these teachers and kids for probably the last time. I could hear the catch in her throat. She gave hugs, said good-byes and thank yous, and made her own stage exit, keeping her smile pasted on the entire time. We left and I stopped her for a second and asked her how she was doing. I could see the grief pass over her eyes for just a moment and she buried her head in me, for just a moment. She was silent. The moment passed. We continued on toward the van.
I dropped them off at the zoo and on my way back to the school really considered what just took place in my 9yo's heart. She felt the pain and she stuffed it. And I let her do it.
And I'm sorry I did.
We have two weeks left in St. Louis and these moments are going to pick up the pace more and more. I want to be intentional about letting them happen. I want to encourage my girls to feel.
One year after we moved to St. Louis I made this observation about people leaving. Had we left St. Louis that year, or even in the first 3-4 years we lived here, this move probably wouldn't sting the way it does right now. And as hard as this is, I'm glad it does. We made friends. We made connections. We did what we needed to do to be human and in community and involved in the lives of people.
It's hard right now, but it's right. And I need to make for darn sure my kids know. And I will. Just as soon as I stop crying.