Thanks to a certain super helpful competent way good at their jobs relocation company (who I was giving the chance to privately make a few things right before publicly outing them but ha ha ha yeah that never happened thanks so much CARTUS CARTUS CARTUS), I was unable to enroll Noah and Ezra in their new school until just a few days before school started. Certainly not ideal, but amazingly I was far from the only parent who showed up that day with multiple kids and new county residency paperwork in tow.
I handed over my triple-checked stacks of required documentation for my particular children, and then got to work filing out what felt like a million additional forms while the boys slowwwwwwwly slid off their chairs and into little whiny boredom puddles.
About 15 minutes later, Noah's birth certificate vanished. Like: POOF. It never existed. I was told I never handed it to anyone, could I please get that to them, which hahahahahahahaha yeah no except I totally already did. (And of course it was his original, official birth certificate, not a copy, because I follow instructions.)
We spent the next half hour searching EVERYWHERE for it, without any luck. I was gritting my teeth and trying to be nice and patient while internally screaming HOW DO YOU LOSE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE I DIDN'T GIVE IT TO YOU I DID I DID ARRRRGH. Luckily Noah's old school had a copy on file and agreed to send that over.
And no, to this day no one has found his birth certificate. I did not leave it in the car or at home or anywhere other than on the very top of the (binder clipped!!!) stack of documents I handed over at the school. I'm assuming it's now permanently nestled in some OTHER kids' file, or perhaps slowly decomposing between a desk and a cubicle wall. I ordered another copy.
(I also figured the birth certificate snafu would be our only hiccup of the week. OH YOU SWEET DUMB THING.)
We moved out of the townhouse two days later.
(Moving day lunch of Floor Tacos with Packing Paper Picnic Blankets.)
I was expecting to feel sadder, more wistful. Instead, I really just wanted to get the fuck out of there already. We had a 5 pm deadline for the final walkthough, at which point the house needed to be completely vacant and "broom clean."
Which we had to do quite literally, with a broom, as the movers packed up our vacuum cleaner almost immediately, when we weren't paying attention. Just like the day before when we realized they'd packed up our electric drill and toolbox so all we had to remove things like light fixtures and TV wall mounts was a keychain-sized multi-tool.
(If anyone is moving soon and trying to glean some useful moving Do's and Don'ts from our experience, I'd say my top two tips are 1) don't work with Cartus and 2) strap moving day essentials like vacuum cleaners, electric drills or at least an actual screwdriver to your body.)
(At least the multi-tool also had a bottle opener, which also got packed. It did not have a corkscrew, however. TIP THREE: Protect your booze-opening accessories.)
We had one actual small crisis during the packing/moving days...Bluen and Bube were missing during most of the process. I was afraid Ezra had absentmindedly dropped them in an unsealed box and we wouldn't find them until after a lot of unpacking -- pretty much the OPPOSITE of what I'd promised Ezra, which was that they'd go with him to the hotel and to Yellow House in our car. I'm not sure who was more distressed about the separation, actually, but as more things disappeared into boxes and onto the moving trucks, the more desperate our search for Ezra's babies became.
Finally, they were discovered, under a bench in the living room, along with some bubbles and a shitload of random Lego:
And all was right again, at least until the next thing went wrong.
We barely made the 5 pm deadline. Part of it was that we completely underestimated the amount of crap we had to transport ourselves (plants! paint! cleansers! desperately packed contents from the fridge/freezer! aerosol cans of cooking spray!) and how quickly we'd run out of room in the cars. We started abandoning things on the curb at an epic rate; one neighbor bitched to the HOA about us while everybody else in the neighborhood treated the piles like Christmas morning. Every time we opened a car door to squeeze in something else, stuff fell out. I'm still not sure how we fit Max and Ceiba in there, although Max managed to find some floor space to get carsick on, rather than on a suitcase or potted plant, so that was a plus.
The other problem was that we were admittedly going above and beyond our "broom clean" obligations and trying to patch and repaint and generally get everything looking shiny and spotless. I'm not really sure why. I suppose it helped stave off some sadness to do this one last thing, to make it as lovely and perfect as posible when it came time to say our final goodbyes.
I stopped taking pictures after this one. I told Jason I'd rather look back on the photos of the years before, or the ones from the real estate listing. That was when it ours, and how I want to remember it. Now it belongs to someone else.
And I hope they're very, very happy there.