The countdown toward the last sixty days of life as Americans living in the United States has begun and the days are like rolling thunder careening toward the final moments. I begin to fold under the pressure of the move that has taken on a life of its own. I feel like I am existing inside of a pressure cooker and that at any moment I could blow apart.
The sheer volume of work ahead of me seems vast and endless, and I take on all of it by myself. Landon and the kids go about their daily lives while I do everything I can to hide my acute anxiety. My mind is in constant motion, and most days panic wells up in my throat and remains there throughout my days. Throughout all this tension and stress, I also have a life to lead, meals to cook, and a business to look after. And I still have to be a soft place for my kids to land.
All at once, I feel driven yet exhausted, motivated but frozen in place. I feel like I am going flat out of my mind most of the time. Regret, guilt, and fear balance themselves on the edge of my conscience every day, but I stuff them back down, along with the snake. Most days the snake is teetering at the top of my diaphragm and will make its way up to the back of my throat where I swallow, swallow, swallow until it retreats once again.
That spring, on a bright and warm Friday, Beck graduates from kindergarten. He wears the blazing dahlia red gown and an adorably tasseled cap also sported by his classmates, and Landon and I are so proud we both cry. It is at once bewildering and enlightening how quickly time goes by, humbling to me every day.
Landon and I have spent the past six years moving the children around from one house to the next purely to suit our own needs. The next one will be bigger; the next car will be the more expensive one; the one after that will solve all our problems. It has all been based on fantasy and wildly unfulfilled dreams—and none of our problems have been solved; they have only gotten worse. Our children are our collateral damage.
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