BootsnAll Travel Network

Spreading the Word

So the decision had been made – there was no turning back.  Actually, until we told someone, we could always change our minds without looking too stupid.  Like a couple who’d just found out they were pregnant, we were a little afraid to tell anyone our good news for fear we’d jinx it. 

Unfortunately, patience is not one of my virtues.  I’m a lot like my grandmother, who was famous in our family for slyly unwrapping the presents under the Christmas tree and carefully retaping them once she’d peeked at the contents.  Even though Claude had warned me not to tell anyone too soon, so we could be one hundred percent sure of our decision,  I was bursting with the news.  When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I kind of let it slip to Julie and Eric, a couple we were friends with who I knew could keep a secret.  Then, feeling guilty, I said, “Don’t tell Claude I told you.” (Sorry, honey)  The following weekend, we invited them over for dinner and I “carelessly” left my “Career Break” book lying out in full view.  Within a few minutes of arriving, Eric spotted the book and innocently said to Claude, “What’s that you’re reading?  Are you planning a career break?”  Phew!  What a relief!  I think Claude was as relieved as I was to finally be able to talk about our plans with someone else.

Over the next few weeks, we told our families and out-of-town friends, anxiously waiting for someone to tell us we were nuts.  Surprisingly, it never happened.  A few said they would never have the guts to do it, but admired our courage.  Funny, I had never really thought about it in terms of bravery – more like closing my eyes and taking a crazy leap of faith.  Everyone we know has been incredibly supportive, and I get the feeling that many will be living vicariously through us on our adventures (minus the bedbugs, squat toilets and Montezuma’s Revenge). 

Finally, the time came to inform our coworkers and local friends.  This was the time I had dreaded the most.  I have come to view my staff like an extended family and it broke my heart to have to tell them I was leaving.  It’s not that I think they can’t do it without me – in fact I know they will continue to be very successful.  I just hate to think of not being a part of a team I have grown to love.  At the staff meeting, when it came time to break the news, I started to get choked up.  Someone piped up,”Anyone heard a good joke lately?” just to give me time to compose myself.  Once I managed to get my announcement off my chest and everyone had picked their jaws up off the floor, there was a flood of questions and congratulations.  No one was bitter (as far as I know) and everyone was supportive and encouraging.  What a crew!  Claude had a similar experience at his job and received a flood of congratulatory emails from colleagues all across the province.

One of our most bittersweet moments came when we told our closest friends in town, our nextdoor neighbours, Karen and Kevin, and their kids, Keira, Kate and Kennedy (oh yeah, and they have a dog named Kismet – they should be arrested for their kuteness!).  Anyway, we have been fast friends since the day they moved in (a few months after us).  I still remember that spring day, as I saw the five of them piling out of their minvan, and being overjoyed to know that a young family was moving in across the street.  Sensing that we were kindred spirits, Karen and I practically ran into each other’s arms at the end of our driveways and started chattering endlessly about all the fun we were going to have as neighbours.  The following Sunday, we invited them over for dinner to get to know them a bit better.  It started out rather innocently, but a few bottles of red wine and several hands of Euchre later, we knew we were in trouble.  Our exhausted, dirty kids didn’t get to bed until almost 10 o’clock that night (a school night to boot), but they’d had fun with their new friends (and so had we).  That was the first, but certainly not the last, in a long string of impromptu potluck dinners, pool parties and Euchre nights.  Then, almost exactly four years later, here we were gathered around our dining room table again.  Karen and Kevin took the news well – Kevin was green with envy and Karen smiled through her tears as she hugged me and whispered, “If anyone was going to do it, it would be you guys.”  Kate and Keira, however, took the news a lot harder, with Kate bursting into tears and Keira announcing with dramatic flair, “I have to go home now!” and running out the door.  Kennedy and Simon were too absorbed in their debate over Spiderman vs Darth Vader to even notice the drama.  Keira managed to compose herself and returned in time for dessert (priorities!) and Kate gradually became interested in hearing about all the exciting adventures on which we were about to embark.  Kate later wrote us an illustrated heartfelt letter in chalk on our driveway to let us know how she felt.  It went something like this (big sad face with tears), “Your living (leaving) and Im sad.  I hop you com back.”  I still feel a distinct twinge when I see our girls skipping across the yard, arm in arm like sisters, and hope we’re doing the right thing.  I know we are, but, like I learned in grade ten physics, for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.  For every joy, there will also be some tears.

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One response to “Spreading the Word”

  1. Karen Dinsmore says:

    okay – I am bawling now – it is late – you’ve sold the house and I had to sit on my own to read this at the right moment – this is a toughy – I am so sad to know you are not renting the house and won’t be coming back – however I envy you your courage and priorities – and hope this builds your marriage and relationship with your kids – remember to hold onto each other and know that you have each other to keep safe and secure and yet also let the other one’s dreams fly and grow- this blog is how I remember our friendship developing too – and how I remember us all taking the news – I can hardly wait to see the pictures and stories and pray that you all come home safe to Canada with your health and happiness – no Montazuma revenge or whatever! Here’s to the next update! Love you guys!

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