There’s nothing else for it: M will have to travel to the States for a week for interviews. We were hoping to be able to avoid this extra cost and hassle but, despite my mother networking ceaselessly on our behalf, we just don’t have the data we need in order to move without it. The salary information has been such a mixed bag — everything from six-figures to poverty level — that we need to take this last step in fact-finding before we commit our little family to this big move. If he interviews and gets offered a job, then we have something very concrete. The move would then have to happen within weeks — no employer is going to want to wait long — but we’d know exactly what we were going to.
So my mother and I were discussing dates for the interview week… In my mind, it was still a distant event… weeks away… unreal. Mom pointed out that it was better sooner than later so her leads don’t go cold and asked if he could travel next week. Next week? “Yes,” she said, “You could be moved by Thanksgiving!”
It’s hard to describe how I felt in reaction. My thoughts slowed right down, like a cheap movie effect. My mood surprised me by suddenly turning foul and short- tempered. I didn’t want to think about it, didn’t want to cooperate, and just wanted to get off the phone as quickly as possible. Mom carried on talking logistics — flights, interview days, vacation days — while my mind swirled around and I heard her voice only in the distance, as if we were talking on a tin-can-and-string phone. She and I got off the phone with the agreement that we would both look at flights, M would suss out his holiday availability, and she would start lining up interviews.
I’ve spent the last few days feeling numb. I knew it would all happen this soon — I thought I was hoping for Christmas in the US — and yet, I also didn’t know it would all happen this soon. In my heart, I was still thinking of it as months away (maybe, if I’m very honest, years away). The fact that this move could happen so soon has hit me like a brick wall. At one point, when I was up feeding the baby in the dark and quiet of the middle of the night, it all came bubbling up from my guts: I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go, I don’t want to go!
M came home from work last night late, and in a foul mood. He spent most of his evening moaning about every single thing that crossed his path and acting like the sky was falling. I got angry about it — after all, what did he have to complain about? He’d had a full night’s sleep, I’d made dinner, the house was tidy when he got home, the girls were fed, I got E1 ready and into bed, I made the after-dinner cuppa and got the sweet, I did the dishes. I’d done everything in my power to make things nice for him — what on earth did he have to be foul about?!?
He said, “I had a hard day, I had a long drive home, I’m weary, and… I’m going to miss my kids.”
Oh! My heart sank. Oh, I’d forgotten somehow! For all that this move is breaking my heart, it is ripping his heart out and tearing it to shreds before his very eyes. His voice dropped to an almost-whisper, “I thought we’d still be here for Christmas.” I didn’t know what to say. My anger dissolved completely — stupid misplaced anger that didn’t belong here anyway — and I just wanted to hold him and make it all alright somehow.
Would it be possible to stay until after Christmas? Could I give him that last little reprieve somehow? If we waited to move until the first week in January, would all those leads have gone stone cold, or could there possibly be some life left in them? Is that being silly? This move will happen, Christmas or not. I don’t know that waiting until after the holidays would make any difference to how much it hurts. And this hurt is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.