the hardest goodbye
You’d think that given our itinerant lifestyle, we would get used to goodbyes. And yet S still tears up every time we have to part ways, even if it is for only a brief period. D is typically more dispassionate, especially when we don’t expect to be apart for more than a few weeks, but this time he too has a touch of the blues. We still have a few more bureaucratic and medical hoops to jump through before Munchkin can travel overseas, so while D is preparing to return to Moldova tomorrow, S will head back to her parents’ house in Bangor for several more weeks.
Long before we started packing our bags, our bright, sunlit Portland apartment began showing the glum signs of our imminent departure. The refrigerator, mostly bare except for the half-empty condiment containers and a sad assortment of leftovers — the result of the delicate balancing act of trying to limit waste while simultaneously ensuring that we have food in the house. The growing pile of dirty laundry — there comes a point when one has more clean outfits than days left and doing laundry ceases being practical; besides, dirty clothes are easier to cram into a suitcase than clean ones.
Although we barely left our apartment, watching the time fly by while we hung out with and took care of our newborn, we managed to see about as many people as we did during our six-week home leave last summer, when we criss-crossed the country. Until the very end, we had visitors. D’s cousin drove up from Boston midweek for dinner and one of S’s closest friends flew in for the weekend. No sooner had she left than S’s mom arrived to help us pack up and clean out the apartment.
Despite the lack of excitement and adventure to which we’ve grown accustomed during our travels, this vacation will be the hardest to return from. After spending nearly every waking hour with our little man, giving that up to go back to work could not seem any less appealing. Munchkin has changed virtually before our very eyes, and even though he is only 5 weeks old, there are noticeable differences when we look back even a couple of weeks. So while D wonders what changes he’ll miss in the coming weeks that we will be apart, S is equally unenthused to be left to single-parent.