Later today, unless Chris and I get cold feet, we'll be telling Madeline that we're moving again. Again is a funny word to use - she's lived here longer than she has anywhere else. What that means is that Thailand is probably where the bulk of her early memories will always lead her, and I am not sure if she really considered Calgary or St. John's serious contenders for "home" or remembers her previous moves at all.
Over the last almost-three years, she's watched far too many of her friends move on, so I think that she understands, on some level, the nomadic element of our life away from Canada. She's sad and often ambivalent at the same time. Despite that, I am not really sure that she has internalized the permanent part of moving away. Her friend N moved away thirteen months ago, but every time she sees the green Magic Years school bus Madeline will chirp, "Oh, there's the bus that N takes to school!" and if you listen to her chatter as we drive around the neighbourhood, she points out empty houses and apartments and offers, "That's where so-and-so lives!", though we haven't seen little so-and-so for eight months, except in photographs taken outside his or her new home in another country. Maybe it harder, in the community where we live, as moving-away looks a lot like going on a summer vacation. Some of her friends come back at the beginning of August, and some of them don't. And now it's her turn.
Maybe I am being naive, but I am not much worried about Madeline's reaction to the news. Right away, at least. I feel, at least, that from now until the end of the school year, there is a lot to keep her busy - kindergarten, a trip to the beach at Songkran, swimming, ballet, a visit from her auntie, and her birthday party (if I ever manage to plan something). But seeing our belongings - her animals and books and craft supplies - being packed into boxes will probably be hard.