. . . but there’s plenty of activity in our house. We have a stack of boxes near the door, this weekend I’ll be packing suitcases, the kids will have two more mornings of nursery early next week–and then we’re off! Katherine, Nathaniel, and I will head out to Nova Scotia on Thursday of next week. We’ve had another rounds of colds and I was at a conference for the past two days, so I haven’t taken the just-before-leaving pictures of the kids that I would have liked, but we’ve had plenty of opportunity to say goodbye to Oxford in the past month. We’ve been enjoying our last bit of normal life, since we know there are many, many weeks of upheaval ahead of us, but even when life is “normal” it’s still full of surprises:
– Nathaniel went from pushing Katherine’s scooter around our garden to scootering to and from nursery on it (a trip of 3+ miles) within two weeks. Katherine now has a new, two-wheeled scooter, and we will be leaving our stroller when we leave England. It seems like a minor thing, but for us it feels like a pretty major shift in how our family operates. I will be sad not to be able to just pack the kids in and go, and I will have to slip out alone if I’m going to take truly lengthy walks, but it’s been tricky pushing the kids anyway now that they’re heavy, and I’m very happy to get past the stage in which I’m pushing what feels like a giant shopping cart wherever I go.
– I’m trying to finish up revisions on a paper before we leave. It’s still looking doable, and I’m feeling confident that it will go out sometime in June, even if I have to take it with me to Nova Scotia for a week or so. Now I get to decide if I want to make a desperate push to get it out before we leave, or whether I’m getting a bit old for such desperate tactics. We’ll see how things go! Either way, I’m glad that I’m still reasonably on schedule for the summer, and that my two biggest projects will be out of the way early on, before I get too caught up in travel and family plans. Nice thing about scheduling two big article rewrites for yourself: if you do manage to muster the resolve to do them, the remaining things (writing a conference paper, preparing for all of your fall teaching) will look a lot less threatening!
– Sydney will be staying here in Oxford for a couple more weeks, partly so that he can finish out the Oxford term, and partly because moving with small children seems to happen best if we stagger our arrivals and departures. I’m doing my best not to leave too many things for him to take care of when we’re gone, though. Yesterday Nathaniel scootered up to the hospital with me to donate some toys to the children’s waiting room there. Nathaniel had plenty of opportunity to use their toys when he hurt his leg earlier this spring, and I was very grateful he had such great distraction. He has since requested several times that we go back to the hospital, which amuses us to no end. As I was backpacking him home, I was reminded of the difference between this trip (one with a sturdy toddler who has to be bribed to go in the backpack because he’s so keen on scootering down the steep hill . . .) and the one I made two years ago, when Sydney and I walked home from my hospital check-up the night Nathaniel as born. It would be a serious understatement to say I’m quite happy about some of the changes that have taken place over those two years.