Priya Bradfield (priyabradfield) wrote,
Priya Bradfield

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On our way...

Well it has finally happened. We're all packed, the house is empty, the lease for the new tenants is signed and we are currently on the plane to Seoul. We made the move, after months of agonizing, planning (not very well, as it turns out) and wishing it weren't true. I have come to terms with it and am ready to rebuild my life there. The last two months were hard. Leaving Seoul and Chris in April, traveling by myself with two young kids and saying goodbye to my friends and house. Actually, I haven't been as emotional as I thought I would be. Maybe I really am accepting this, I'm not sure. I keep waiting for the ball to drop and the tears to flood, but so far, nothing. Maybe I am stronger than I think of myself, Chris always says I am. Not sure, but I am looking forward to a new adventure. I'm going to try to take it one day at a time and try not to freak out about things too much. Also, I'm looking at the summer as a time to be a little more forgiving when it comes to things like the kids' bedtime and naps. They both are very resilient, although Nadia definitely needs a nap in the afternoons. But Maya is so easygoing and forgiving and on the days she is up until 9 or even 10pm, she is ok and sleeps in the next morning for as long as Nadia will let her. Anyway, I think that not having a rigid schedule this summer will be good.

Maya graduated from preschool last week. My parents and Chris' parents attended with us. It was very nice. And again, I wasn't as emotional as I thought I would be. I guess I'm tired of crying and mourning the past - I really am looking forward to the future. I want to be open to it, open enough to make friends fast and build my support system up again. I remember when my family moved from Orlando to California when I was in high school. It was the middle of my 10th grade year and my attitude made the whole experience much harder. For 11th and 12th grades, I was basically a loner because I wouldn't let anyone get close to me. I was just waiting to graduate and get out of there. Didn't really enjoy the years at all, and looking back, I could have if only I had a different attitude. So there!

Anyway, back to Maya's preschool graduation. It was so cute. There were about 17 graduates. All of her close friends all going off to kindergarten. And not really realizing that they were all, for the most part, going off to different schools. Of course, there would still be play-dates and such over the summer, but once next school year starts, some of them will lose touch, I'm sure. That's the sad part, to me. It truly is a chapter in her life that is over. And what fun she had. Maya's preschool is awesome. I have to say that for her first school experience, we couldn't have asked for anything better. They played and learned in their own ways. Sang songs, did art, played games. All the things that 4 and 5 year olds should be doing. It is great that she knows how to say and write her ABCs and how to count to 110 and all her colors and shapes. She is learning to read and can sound out all her letters and lots of 2 and 3 and even 4 letter words. But all that was at home. At school, she got a great social education. And made friends who she will not soon forget. And so did I. I am sad that Nadia will not get to go to OCP. Although, if we do go back to the States in 2 years like we plan, she can go there for one year before going to kindergarten. Maya's teacher at OCP is the best first teacher that any child could have. She says that she loves all the children who go there, and I believe her. Well, I least I know that she loves Maya. She freely says it to Maya and was so, so happy when we came back (so were we!). It was fate that we were to go back and jump right back into the school 3 days a week, I had originally paid to keep one day open for Maya for when we returned from Seoul the first time, but literally the weekend before we went back, another family dropped out of the school and we were able to pick up a full 3 days for Maya again. I was so happy and so was Maya.

So, I didn't cry much during her graduation or when we said goodbye to her teacher and school. It was weird. I was waiting for the flood of tears, as I'm sure that others were too. But it never came. I didn't even cry much when my parents left to go back to Seattle (two days before we left for Seoul). Maya started crying really hard and cried all the way home from the airport, and that made me cry too, but it wasn't much. My mom is planning to come in a couple of months, so I will see her soon. My dad, though, I'm not sure when I'll see him again. Probably next year. We have tentative plans on going back either in December or next June. Depends on when we decide to go to India to see my extended family there. Talking to my sister, it looks like everyone is making a trip back to India next June (my mom's birthday is in June), so then maybe we'll go back to the US in December or whenever Maya gets time off from school. Or maybe we'll travel around Southeast Asia. I really want to take advantage of the fact we are going to be here for a while and take those short trips to see different places. It makes no sense to me to be living over here and not take the time to see as much as we can. I want to save money on things and possessions and spend the money on trips and experiences.

That's something to has changed in me too. Before, I would want to buy things. Now, I still do, but am going to make the effort to be very picky and choose only a few special items to keep. Packing up our house has taught me that I have bought too much crap. All that money could have been saved and spent on taking more trips before the kids came along. Well, now I'm going to try to change my habits a little and live a little more sparsely at home (yeah, right, Chris would say). If I can do that and save the money to spend on trips and DOING more things, then our time in South Korea should be worth it.

Boy, I am really rambling in my writing today. I keep trying to talk about Maya's graduation, but veer back to our move and how I seem to have changed.

Packing up our house was a challenge. And we still hadn't finished everything up. Chris' parents are going to finish up things like taking the last of our garbage out and putting away the last of our storage items and cleaning up our kitchen. That would have taken me another day or two to finish. We packed up the shipping container and that got hauled off on Sunday (June 19th - Father's Day). We got a 20 foot container and packed all the things we want to have with us in Seoul into it. We have a couch, all our beds, a desk and filing cabinet, some shelves and all our things. Like my scrapbooking supplies. There will be no where to buy stuff in Korea for that hobby, so I packed up every little piece of scrap stuff I have to use over there. There's another place will I will save money - I will use what I have. Novel concept, I know. So, packing up the house was a little more involved than just packing everything. We had to decide if we wanted to take it with us, store it or throw it away. We were going to have a garage sale, but kind of ran out of time to do that. So, we ended up storing everything we didn't want to bring with us. When we get back to the States, we'll have that garage sale, I guess!

It took us a while to pack up the house. Chris came back to the States on May 28th. That's when the packing really started. I had done some before that, mostly my scrap stuff. I figured that was something he didn't need to be there for. Looking back, I should have done more things like calling around to make arrangements for shutting off the utilities and changing addresses and changing insurance needs. But I didn't and got hosed at the last minute doing things like that. UGH.

So we have a month before our container gets to Seoul. In that time, we have to figure out where Maya is going to go to school (she's going to an international school, so we have to pick one) and find our permanent housing. And then the cats will get shipped out then too. That was a nightmare... I waffled between bringing them or leaving them with someone for a while. We had an option at one point of a friend taking them, but then that fizzled, so we decided to take them. Got their shots, rabies vaccination and paperwork all in order, only to find out that Korean Air will only take them after 30 days after their rabies shot! Korea will allow them to enter and will quarantine until the 30 days passes, but Korean Air won't even allow them on board. So that was a mess. And this happened two days before our departure. My in-laws came up with the plan to let them stay in the house until the tenants move in on July 1st, then board them until July 17th (one month after their rabies shots). Then they will fly over as unaccompanied cargo. That way, we'll have our permanent housing, they won't have to be quarantined and my kitties will be with us. Ever since our first trip to Seoul, the kids have become so attached to the kitties, so it is good that they are coming with us. Besides, I have had them since they were born in 1993. They were my first babies. Schmoopies!

Ok, guess I'll end this entry for right now. We're mid-flight to Seoul now, only 7 hours to go!
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