April 16 of 2013 was a very big day for our little family. The morning consisted of packing up our suitcases, making sure the last few items were loaded into the car, topping the car off with gas, double checking that everything was secure in the trailer, and finally, walking through everything we had just done once (or twice or three times) more so as not to forget anything. Once we were sure all was well, the huzband and I grabbed the apples slices, juice boxes and cupcakes that were waiting on the kitchen counter and headed one last time to our little V’s school.
We walked into her school and everyone knew what was happening. The security guard chatted with us about our plans, the school secretary had us fill out withdrawal paper work and finally, little V’s kindergarten teacher welcomed us into the classroom.
For the last bit of their school day, the huzband and I got to share with little V’s classmates the adventure she was about to embark on. We talked about how we would get there, the different states (and country) we were going to travel through and the different family members we would see along the way. We shared neat facts about where we were going and pointed out how far away New York was from our destination. We answered silly questions about Eskimos and igloos, about sunlight and whales. Most importantly though, we gave our little girl a special afternoon to say goodbye to the life she knew, to her classmates and teachers, and a brief moment to share with those inside her comfort zone a big part of her changing life.
The whole class (including V) sang a song for the huzband and I, lots of pictures were taken and just as many hugs were given. V walked out of that kindergarten classroom, arms full of gifts from her teacher and a few classmates, a heart most assuredly full of love everyone poured on her and I can only guess, little five-year old thoughts of her classmates mixed with thoughts of what the rest of her day would look like. I know her momma walked out with tears in her eyes, knowing full well her little girl’s life was never going to look like this again.
We drove the short drive from little V’s school to our home one last time. Once there, we attached the trailer, everyone including the dog used the potty and finally, the time had arrived. We stood together as a family in front of our home, car and attached trailer for a photo; a photo that we would share with many with the tagline, “saying goodbye”. We hugged the huzband’s father, loaded into the car and pulled out of our driveway. And so our journey began; not just a journey where we would pass the miles on the road, but one that was changing the course our family had been on.
On the 16th of April, 2013 we left the life we were building in New York. All our remaining possessions we were pulling in a trailer behind us. We left New York, knowing that in a few weeks time we would be arriving in what would soon become our new home.
Two years ago on the 16th of April, 2013 we were headed to Alaska.