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How the Kids Handled the News (A Year of Change – Part 2)

The tears came much sooner than I had been expecting.  As soon as they heard the opening paragraph of my much-thought-about somewhat-prepared announcement, the question was blurted out: “You mean we’re moving??” I had barely got the “s” of Yes out of my mouth before my Little One burst into sobs.  Hmm – not quite what I had hoped.

My son immediately took over, drilling us with questions, his brow furrowed as he tried to make sense of it.  Working hard at answering what he threw at us distracted me enough that I didn’t notice how his eyes were watering as he struggled to hold it all together – for as long as he could. Was this our rock bottom?  I didn’t have to wonder for long – the answer was pretty clear:  Nope, not yet – as bad as it is, we still have a ways to go.

The conversation has continued, on and off for over a day now.  My son is looking for an angle, a back door, some way to get out of this ridiculous thing we just told them.  There has got to be a catch, or condition or something we didn’t think of that he could reveal to us to make us call the whole thing off. I hope when he’s older, these skills will come in handy.  Maybe in some big negotiation? (although to be honest interrogation feels more like it).

He’s not buying what I’m selling. Not interested in the least.  “We’re gonna buy a house again,” I tell him as if this will explain everything.  It is one of the big plusses of the move.  “We’re going to be able to put down roots.”   “I have put down roots – HERE!” The pain in his voice is almost too much to bear.  Because it’s true, he has, WE have – they’re not the deep thick roots I’m talking about, but to him, they are the only roots he’s ever known.

We moved from NYC to back to LA when he was just under one.  We moved from LA up here to Northern California 3.5 years ago.  He was 6 at the time and just finishing Kindergarten; my daughter was 3 – her memories of LA are few at this point.  This place is what she has known.  It is here they have their friends that they adore, a school they love and a community that they have passionately taken to as if they have been here forever.  (My sales job back then was obviously much more effective – because it sure has stuck!)

My son wants to be the guy that has lived in the same house all his life – not the one who’s moved around and changed schools (and done it more than once).  We never meant to be the family that moves around.  At the same time, I’m not sure this Zen Mama Wannabe would change a thing.  Each city/town we have lived in has provided us with rich experiences and some wonderful friendships.  I do believe that it has all happened as it was meant to be, and now it is “meant to be” that we move 3,500 miles away, to a part of the country we NEVER thought we’d ever live, to a town we’ve been to once, where – once again – we know no one.  (And we’re surprised the announcement didn’t go better?  Hmm.)

Children are resilient, everyone tells me.  It’s just hard to imagine that through the tears and the hurt they are feeling.   I know we’ll get through this, I know that it will probably work out just fine – eventually.  We’re just not there yet.  Not even close.

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5 Responses to “How the Kids Handled the News (A Year of Change – Part 2)”

  1. callieandbatido Says:
    January 17th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I too have moved my kids across the country. My oldest (12 at the time) asked “can I get a chicken.” Her friends in 4-H were raising chickens and she thought it looked like fun. my youngest, (7 1/2 at the time) sobbed and sobbed for she was leaving her best friend…unimaginable!

    I would like to tell you that after a few weeks they settled down and it was no big deal, but it was a big deal. Leaving friends, schools, routines, homes, and even bedrooms can be devistating.

    The bright light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, is that TIME helped. Five years later they are settled. happy and doing things they never imagined thanks to our move.

    If my husband’s job interview goes well, how will I tell them that they have to do it all over again? How will I muster the energy to do it all over again?

    Faith?

  2. Suzanne Says:
    February 16th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    My sister recently had to move and she thought it would be really hard on her daughter. But, when they got to the new home, her daughter was so excited to have a new (bigger) bedroom, and really loved the new home!

  3. Zen Mama Wannabe Says:
    February 18th, 2011 at 11:13 am

    It seem so MANY people move around these days, and it all seems to work out well in the end. I think it’s just the DURING part (especially with all the unknowns that lead to so much worry) that cause the most stress for everyone. But finding the bright side (the positive) always helps – with everything! (i.e. the new bigger room, participating in activities they never would have if they had stayed, etc).

    Thanks for the encouragement!!

  4. Donna Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    When I was in 5th grade my mom told me I was moving and I ran to the bathroom and threw up. Of course the anticipatory anxiety is what was worse.

    I think that for moms, we can reduce our anxiety when we get busy and face the issue. Bring in a journal for the kids to sign at your old school. WE followed up with our move by printing and mailing postcards that said Let’s schedule a visit/playdate/sleepover this summer. We includes our new address, phone and any any update on how the move went and the new people and things we have discovered.

    Project help us address the event and learn to feel and recognize that change is strange and it is good and also hard.

    hope it all went well.

    It’s funny but

  5. Zen Mama Wannabe » Blog Archive » Waiting and Hoping Says:
    January 16th, 2015 at 11:53 am

    […] settled) anywhere – except for the one place that felt like “home” to your kids which made leaving it even harder and going somewhere else that much worse. That is another story altogether and right now my focus […]

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