Seriously, this is a big one. The kids rarely read the blog, (yes, kids, as Kelsey is becoming quite the little reader, following in Caitlin's footsteps) however, I feel the need for the precaution anyway. Perhaps because these are wrapped, packed, boxed, and ready to be crated; in other words, the girls would have no way of truly admiring these just yet. Should they learn of their existence, they might want to see pronto, yet cannot until we have a new home....so this is just between me and you and you and you.
Peter has an aerial view of the Embassy in Caracas, specially matted, signed by all of his colleagues, and beautifully framed. When wracking my brain for a special going away gift for the girls, I finally realized the answer was hanging on our family room wall.
I originally planned to do one frame for both girls, but quickly realized this would work if they end up with separate bedrooms. I found a perfect frame, but it was one of a kind. I was relieved to find Ikea had something similar that could be used for Kelsey.
With much help from Kirsten, the Art & Kindergarten teacher, and Berta, the project was quickly completed. Caitlin's is signed by all of the 2nd - 5th graders, while Kelsey's was covered by names and pictures from K-1. Berta even went so far as to take the mat to a going away party for one of Caitlin's friend's Saturday evening. The child was leaving the country permanently the very next day for her home country and would not be able to participate in the Monday morning sign-fest.
Monday during lunch, I raced to school to pick up the frames whil e I knew they would be occupied. Caitlin saw me as I was leaving but was distracted and did not stop to greet me or question the frames. I made it home, handed them to the movers and they quickly wrapped them so the girls would not see them that night, mingled with other items yet to be prepped for the move.
Here's hoping I can find 11 photos that truly capture their lives while we were here. While the signatures are only from current classmates, the girls have known at least five of the kids for almost our entire tour. I know Caitlin is anxious to go to America to visit, er, live, and Kelsey is hopping-up-and-down excited about San Francisco. However, I can't help but wonder when the other shoe will fall.
When will it hit them we aren't coming back, at least not to stay? Maybe, just maybe not before I can get these unwrapped, filled with pictures, re-wrapped, and presented to them as the first decorations in their new home.