Our little Stella can get motion sick just by watching Deadliest Catch. She’s thrown up on every flight we’ve ever taken to Bhutan, twice on Jen. She’s puked in vans from Big Bend to Lombok. Her record for one car trip is four times (Rwanda). Once when riding in my lap, she threw up on me, which I promptly repaid by throwing up on her (Bhutan). We’ve tried every conceivable treatment; pharmaceutical (benadryl, dramamine, scopolamine, zofran), eastern (activating an acupressure point with Sea-Bands), behavioralism (stare at the horizon), I’ve even stuffed a tissue into only one ear (a trick I first saw on a chicken bus in Guatemala). Our latest stratagem, anti-motion sickness glasses. They’re the orthopedic shoes of eyewear, but hopefully by giving her an artificial horizon in her periphery, they’ll be the breakthrough. And they arrived just in time, on the day we left Santa Fe.
Getting these glasses was just one of a long list of tasks and chores that precedes our big trips. Warn the credit cards of our travel, place a hold on the cell phones, organize homeschool supplies (digital with analog back ups), vaccinations and teeth cleanings, haircuts and state department registration, buy the tiny toothpastes and shampoos, and check the passports.
This last one was especially stressful. Jen’s passport renewal had not been processed as of a week before our launch from New Mexico. So add to our list of tasks, a 10 hour drive to the consulate in Dallas for a 15 minute meeting. Ten hours back to Santa Fe, and then continue with the lists.
For three weeks we’ve been wading through leaf-piles of post it notes and lists, reminders to get visa pictures, renew work contracts and mail service subscriptions, buy an extra umbrella (rain jackets are too sweaty in the tropics), and pack the Elf On A Shelf. We’ve packed and unpacked the bags at least three times. It feels like death by 1000 cuts. But with each little chore completed we move forward, build a little momentum, and get closer to our departure.
And that momentum has been building since leaving Santa Fe. Amarillo, Dallas, Jackson, Atlanta. Over a week of driving, and yet we still haven’t left. But our route has allowed us to see friends and family along the way, gaining energy and polishing off those last to-do’s. Today we are in Charlotte, tomorrow we finally board our flights east. It finally feels like we’ve accomplished enough to break free of the gravity of our “normal life”. That we have collected enough impetus and thrust to reach escape velocity.