Tomorrow we leave London and go to Abu Dhabi.  We’ve been talking and planning and worrying and wondering about this move for months…and now it’s finally upon us.

We left our apartment six weeks ago, almost to the day, and we’ve been floating every since.  A rather grand tour—Paris, Provence, London—but still, floating. Haven’t read a newspaper, haven’t read my New Yorkers (I’m hoping they’re stockpiled for me in AD); it’s both exhilarating and disorienting to be so out of touch with what’s happening in the world.

Six weeks of no deadlines, no appointments, no responsibilities (other than tracking down the nearest Pizza Express or noodle-selling grocery store for my kids’ dinner).  I’ve been hauling around drafts of writing projects in what I like to call the bag o’guilt (writing projects, syllabi for upcoming fall course, Important Nonfiction Book) and have done…none of it.  Made my way through most of the Jo Nesbo detective stories (brilliant! amazing! Makes you think “Stieg WHO?”), read a lot of wonderful blogs (Marinka! Kelcey! Varda! Stasha! Empress! Wendi! The Bloggess! Shari! but mostly? Floating.

The upside of this discombobulated floating is that we’re all ready to go. Ready to Get There, Be There, Get Started. Hell, we all just want to unpack.  It’s been six weeks of “oh yeah, that book/lotion/important file/power cord/folder is…well, it’s in one of the suitcases. We’ll find it in Abu Dhabi.”

Both boys have had some serious bouts of whining (okay, pretty much every day has had at least one or the other or both snarling and mewling about the hell that is his life) and there have been a few sobbing sinkers, but overall they’ve held up pretty well. Five different perches in six weeks, almost no soccer, and a LOT of walking, which Caleb claims is incredibly boring, because when you’re walking you’re not really doing anything. I guess we’re lucky they’re still speaking to us.

Tomorrow morning we head for the airport with our eighty-five thousand suitcases, carry-ons, backpacks, and shoulder bags, trailing cords and plugs and wires and chargers, like a kind of techno comet tail.

Tomorrow night we sleep in another hemisphere.

When we wake up, it will already be about 95 degrees and Ramadan fasting will have begun.

We won’t be in Kansas any more, Toto. And as for over the rainbow? Well…we’ll just have to see.


*the picture of the boys is taken at the Royal Observatory, in Greenwich. They’re straddling the Prime Meridian, which marks the divide between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.  That whole GMT, Greenwich Mean Time? That’s the line, right there.  Seems appropriate, yes?