I made my last trip to Target earlier this week before our crew of seven embarks on the biggest road trip of our lives.
And then I went once more.
And then again, once more.
We have now passed the window of time to be able to order anything else from Amazon Prime in order to have it shipped here in the free two day window and receive it on time.
Boxes on our front door have been a regular thing over these past few weeks.
Sam was showing a friend our dining room yesterday and said, "Apparently we are packing as if there are no stores in Mexico."
It annoyed me at first.
But then...well, let me tell you the rest first.
Our living room is filled with all of the random things that need to go somewhere. I've been sorting and organizing for weeks. Things have been cleared out of closets and bedrooms and stair mailboxes to make a welcoming space for our guests. And all of the things that haven't been given a place to go yet have filled the living room. I've considered burning it all. I'm convinced me wouldn't miss a thing.
Our dining room is filled with all of the things that somehow by the end of today will be packed into our 12 passenger van. I'm thankful that we are driving and don't have to think of suitcases and carry-ons and weight limits. Yet I'm also curious to see just how all of these THINGS are going to fit into the van with seven living, breathing bodies fitting in there as well. (More bins for clothes are tucked behind the table.)
We have a system. Because systems is what Sam and I do best.
"What do we really need?" has been a phrase that I have considered often over these past few weeks. I don't want to run out of this...or that. How much of that will we really need anyway? Ugghh, why have I not kept better track of how much toothpaste we go through each month. And that is when the breakdown happened.
The complete breakdown.
I think it was actually when I was considering my new favorite water bottle. And the fact that I was considering purchasing another one before we left because I like it so much. What happens if I set it down somewhere and forget it, the thought ran through my mind. I won't be able to order another one and have it shipped to my house in two days? Should I bring 2 pairs of sunglasses? They break so easily you know.
Or maybe it was actually when I was looking around considering all of the things in our house and wondering how in the world they ended up here and who let them stay.
And through it all I have five little ones asking more than five questions each to which mommy wants to say, "I do not know!" to every single one. And when it seemed as if we had so much time to prepare we got down to just two days left. Which means that yesterday before Sam took the kids to their last day of school I walked down the hall, slammed our bedroom door shut and said,
"I CAN'T DO THIS!"
Hours later I was cleaning up some dishes in the kitchen because that was all that I could reconcile needed to be done...the dishes. Sam had returned and he was showing a friend our dining room and said, "Apparently we are packing as if there are no stores in Mexico."
I was annoyed.
And then I wasn't.
Because he was right.
And I knew that the issue went deeper than that for me.
One of our stops next week includes meeting Laura, the girl that we have been supporting for the past eight years through Compassion International after experiencing three miscarriages. Those three pregnancies all had some significance around May 13th. So when we opened up that computer screen one day to look for a child in Mexico that we could begin supporting, I almost cried when out of the seven children on that screen one of them had a birthday on May 13th.
We have been writing to Laura for years. She is twelve now. The same age as our oldest daughter. Four years ago, after our daughter came to live with us, she began writing to Laura. On one of my last trips to Target this week I picked out some things for Laura to fill a backpack. It was easy to pick things out knowing what our oldest daughter likes. The pink soccer ball didn't fit in the bag. That is ok, I thought. We can still bring it along. Something about picturing my five kids and Laura kicking around that soccer ball in Mexico brought tears to my eyes.
We wanted to bring a gift for Laura's family too. Kitchen tools were suggested by Compassion. But then Sam called the woman that is going to be leading us down to the area where Laura lives and he confirmed his guess that the family most likely cooks with clay pots over an open wood fire. Our plastic utensils at Target won't be much help to them. So we decided to wait and purchase a gift for the family in Mexico. Then we can pick up something helpful in one of the markets along the way.
I still feel conflicted. Conflicted over how I got to this point. Why things seem to be so important and why so much time has been given to organizing and planning for said things. Whether I end up burning the contents of our living room or leaving half of the items that are currently in our dining room behind...I do not know. What I do know is that in this moment...this very moment. Is that I crave just to live. Just to be. To focus on my children instead of being fearful that I left something behind. To look out the window and experience the various landscapes instead of deciding if some physical item in my possession is worth holding on to. To hold Sam's hand as we watch the kids run. And even if my Spanish is far from being conversational I'm really looking forward to simply standing next to Laura's mom and talking as we watch all of the kids kick a pink soccer ball that might have come from Target.
If I leave my water bottle behind...
If my sunglasses get broke...
It will be ok.
Everything is going to be, absolutely ok.