I love my husband. He works hard. Very hard. He has a vision for what he wants for our family, long term, that I’m grateful for. I’m so thankful. But it’s a tough gig being a climber. It’s a tough gig being the wife of a climber. It’s a tough gig being the kids of a climber.
One of the challenges is the frequent moving that comes with each rung grasped. When the kids were small it didn’t phase them. But now that the kids are entering in the teen waters, it gets harder.
It’s harder to make new friends. It’s harder to find families you click with. It’s harder to find a church home. It’s harder to find a homeschool coop, etc. It just gets harder.
It’s no longer as easy as asking another mom if she wants to meet up at the park, “I’ll bring the juice boxes, you bring the fruit!” Nope… It’s far from juice boxes and fruit, nowadays. But that’s part of parenting isn’t it? Helping our kids enter each new phase of life and flourish. Whoever coined the term, “Parenting isn’t for whimps”, wasn’t kidding!
So this time when it came to breaching the subject of moving, I approached it differently. I made one rule.
We are allowed to be sad. It’s okay to be sad, to be mad, to not want to move. To pray for your desires. It’s okay. It’s okay to want to talk about all the things you’ll miss. It’s okay to mourn the life you have here. It’s okay to mourn the could have been’s. But every day you do, I also want you to look up 3 things that you think are really neat about where we are moving. They can be pictures of places that are neat, a coffee shop you want to visit, a church, coop, park, beach, event, attraction — it doesn’t matter. 3 things.
We are allowed to feel all of the feelings that go along with the unknown and the in between. Before anything, though, knowing this is going to happen, we each have to make a decision inside ourselves. Am I going to be happy? Or am I going to let this defeat me? The choice is yours. But it is a choice, it is our own, & we each get to make it.
We have moved for work before = five times. A wanted move = zero times. But you know what happened with each move? A pattern developed.
The first move we’d lived there a long while… it was the home we brought all of our babies into when they were newborns… 2 learned to walk in the hallways of that home. They loved the neighbor friends. We had a schedule that included bike rides with neighbors, play dates with other neighbors, & walks that greeted them all. It was a beautiful life. But we had to move for my husband to move up in his company. He had climbed to the top of the companies local level and was busting for an opportunity to move on. It came.
We moved. The next year was full of growth and challenge for him and us as a family. We jumped into a new church head first, a new homeschool coop headfirst… it seemed to be our theme that year “Head first”. It was successful!
A year passed & when asked if we would have moved back to our old life if we had the chance. Every single one of us said “no”. We realized all that we would have missed out on. The friends we’d made, the church family we’d grown to love, the homeschool community that was quickly becoming like family. All of which, we would have missed out on if we’d stomped our feet and stood our ground in refusal to move. Then, it came again.
This time the move was much further away, the kids & I were even more reluctant to go. My husband had reached the top of where he could climb and there was nowhere else to grow. It was time.
We moved 12 hours from where we lived. All of us sad. Knowing we were leaving a place that had quickly become home. A place we loved. People we loved.
We moved. A year passed. I asked the kids if we could move back to *home* if they’d like to. They both said “no”. They both said, while they missed everyone, they are so thankful for all the new friends they’ve made. They were thankful for all the new experiences they’d gotten to have. The opportunities that they’d been given. None of which they’d have known if we’d never moved.
So, we find ourselves here again. On the edge of a new adventure. The familiar feelings of sadness all around. As we wait to hear what’s next.
This time though, we have hindsight. The beautiful gift of hindsight. And we know that in another year from now we will likely look back on this day and say “I’m thankful”. When I ask them “If we had the chance to move back, would you?” I am sure the answers will again be “No”. The “why’s” to follow may be different. I’m excited to experience the “why’s”. I’m excited to meet the “why’s”. I’m excited to see what God has for us.
So although the sadness is here, it has not come alone. For with it has come, curiosity & anticipation.
This past Sunday, our pastor gave a sermon on “The best is yet to come”… I choose to believe that. I choose to be happy.
Several of our friends & neighbors from the past have moved now from where we’d known them. Many have stopped and visited if we were en route to their new home or vacation destination. Our friendship map goes all around the world now. While reflecting on it one day, my daughter mentioned “It’s kind of like life is moving around and collecting friends. The more we move, the smaller the world gets.”
I love that.