On Waiting for Forever

 

"Mama? Is the moon really following us"

It's almost 10 p.m. before I realize I haven't eaten since lunch. Considering lunch had been my only meal since the one I ate yesterday, the hunger pains make sense. No time to stop, no time to eat...chop chop, people, time is money and daylight's burning and look, it's burned itself away. The full moon is clear and bright and I understand the awe in my daughter's voice as she stares into the night sky.

I tell her that the cool thing about the moon is that every single person looking at the exact same moon at the exact same time see the same moon following them, too.

"You mean the moon is flying all over the world at the same time? For everybody?"

I probably learned the science behind the illusion as a kid myself, but I think I forgot it all on purpose. The wonder in her voice reminds me why I never bothered myself with remembering it. I peer into the rear view mirror and see eyes blinking and heavy with sleep and tell her how proud I am. My little mover worked from morning till night filling boxes, packing toys, and loading and unloading the moving truck as we drove between rental homes. This is the last trip for the night, the moving truck as already been turned in, and The Husband's Jeep leading our little caravan of two from one borrowed space to another.

She's almost six. This is the fifth house she will call home. The third state she will be able to point to on a map and show you the ones she's lived in. But it's her first Big Girl move. We made sure she was included in the decision when we selected the house we are just a few minutes away from now. She's helped me, over the last two weeks, load up our truck with small loads of boxes we haven't unpacked in over four years and store them  for opening when we find our Forever Home.

That's where we'll be able to set up a swing set, paint her room any shade of pink she wants, and plant a tree of her very own. That's where The Husband and I will watch her take root and grow.

I smile into the dark and tell her that yes, the moon is kind of doing exactly that: flying for everybody at the exact same time. Or at least, it seems to be.

"We're not moving from here," she says, still keeping watch on the moon.

"You mean, the new house?" I ask her.

"Maine," she says. "I like it here."

"I do, too."

And we're here. Or there. Or in between. The moon disappears behind the tall pine trees, casting them into shadows outlined in white.

"Maybe we're home now, Mama," she says as I turn off the engine. "The moon just went to sleep."