You see, when we were packing up our home in Nashville, our newly-minted three year olds naturally wondered where their beds and furniture and toys and were going. We hadn't realized that Ian and Isla would be aware that anything was changing. (Chalk that up to being new parents, or still thinking of our toddlers as babies, or magical thinking.) Not wanting to traumatize them with the disappearance of everything familiar, we told Ian and Isla that we were packing up their toys so Daddy could take them to Nicaragua. And when we all moved to Nicaragua together, they would see their toys again, and could play with them as much as they wanted.
At the brilliant suggestion of our early-childhood-expert-friends Tobin and Rebekah, Ian and Isla helped us pack suitcases of books and toys for Nicaragua. Anytime they wondered where a toy was during our months of transition, they would remind each other, "Oh, I know! Remember? Daddy tooked our toys to Nicaragua. They flew there on an airplane."
On October 30th, 2014 we pulled out of our driveway in Nashville and headed from there to Kansas to Oklahoma back to Nashville to St. Louis to Tulsa and then on to Charleston and finally to Nicaragua. Everytime we arrived at a new place, Ian and Isla would ask if we were in Nicaragua yet.
And then one day - January 10th, 2015 - we were. We finally were in Nicaragua. Ian and Isla knew it, because we pulled into our new driveway, walked into our new home, and they were surrounded by suitcases and boxes full of familiar blankets and books and toys. "This is Nica-warbwa! We're here! Nica-warbwa! There's ants in Nica-warbwa! These ants live at Nica-warbwa, too!"
And so now when we're out and about - when we've driven around too long in 100 degree heat without air conditioning, or stayed too long at a party in the village, or shopped too long at a home improvement store, or WHEREVER - Ian and Isla will eventually burst into tears and ask if we can please go back to Nica-warbwa now. When visitors come to our house, Ian and Isla say, "Welcome to Nica-warbwa! We lub Nica-warbwa!" When we we're on the highway, and we see a car turn towards our house, they say, "He must be going to Nica-warbwa. He will lub it there."
They can find Nicaragua on a map or a globe. They just... think our house is Nicaragua. We've tried to explain that the whole place and country and culture and everything we can see is Nicaragua. But... that's too vague. It makes more sense that we told them their toys would be in Nicaragua, and here they are.
Exhibits A, B, and C.
Pretty hard to argue with that logic. So we're rolling with it.