Son to stranger in taco shop: My monster bike is on a boat to Holland.
Son to stranger at baseball game: My monster bike is on a boat to Holland.
Son to stranger at park: My monster bike is on a boat to Holland.
Approximately 4.5 weeks into our summer in America, my three-year-old started repeating this phrase to strangers like a verbal talisman. He has been told that we are moving away from Hong Kong. He understands that we are visiting relatives in America for the summer. It has been explained to him that all of our things are on a boat going to Holland. He is trying his best to actually believe me.
My seven-year-old daughter is taking the transition in stride and understands the process like a seasoned pro. While she is the most pragmatic of the bunch, hints of the frayed nature of her sense of stability have started to appear. She is obsessed with the computer game Minecraft, a game where players create their own realities out of Lego-like virtual blocks. I have noticed that her Minecraft world-building has pivoted its emphasis away from the fanciful and toward the practical and stable. Five weeks ago she was building giant water towers that rained down clouds of squid. She is now building a solid and cozy Minecraft house with a named bed for each member of our real family. Like an early civilizer, she is building a giant statue oriented toward the rising of the sun to reassure herself that it is morning, that the sun keeps rising and that there is predictability in the world.
My sanity has also begun to unravel. I am cranky. I think about buying items that I know we’ll need in Holland, but that would be utterly impractical to bring on an airplane, like brooms, bicycles and cleaning products. I’ve found myself creating ridiculously, unworkable Venn diagrams comparing my summer in America to James Bond and Will Ferrell movies. See exhibit A:
In summation, we are a haggard threesome. We have a week and a half left in America before our weary souls fly to the Netherlands and jump into a new life yet again. Wish us luck. We might need it.