It is rather frightening how quickly an idea transforms itself into a reality. It really does look like we will be moving to France this summer, which is at the same time exciting and terrifying. There is so much to do, and much of it to be dealt with from afar while I am working in NY. My brain is overflowing with to-do lists that wake me up at 2am demanding attention.
The biggest challenge will be the selling of our home in Los Angeles. It is full of 17 years of memories, and even more full of the stuff that a family gathers and saves over the course of nearly two decades. What do we sell, give away, ship or store? There are certain to be things we can't bear to part with, yet can't take with us to France.
I see some stormy times ahead, but I see an amazing opportunity as well.
Opinions amongst friends and family range from envy to surprise to bewilderment. Most are supportive and make promises to visit us in Provence "one day." Of course some will, and most won't, but for those who make the adventure we can promise a warm "bonjour" and a glass of local wine.
I cannot imagine how people made moves like this before the age of the internet. The resources that are at our fingertips is truly astounding. While searching for information about the Steiner School I stumbled upon a blog from an American woman whose children had attended the school. We exchanged emails and then talked on the phone, and she reassured me that it is a wonderful school with a multi-cultural student body that would embrace foreign students and ease the transition. Many of the high school children have even spent the last year abroad studying in the US, and have come back fluent in English.
Of course, while it is our goal to assimilate into French culture and learn the language, we also realize that major life changes come with major emotional challenges as well. When you are a kid, it helps to cope with change when people can understand you.