Friday, February 25, 2011

Some thoughts on moving

For Family Home Evening this week we decided to talk to the boys about all the upcoming events that will occur in our home in the next few months.

Mainly we talked about the baby coming and moving but we also threw in Isaac's fifth birthday which means kindergarten. There will be a lot of changes--four birthdays, Mike graduating, a new baby, moving and everything that comes along with that (a new school, new ward, new house, new friends). Already there is a change for Isaac as I just got released as his CTR teacher but I think he will be ok without me.

I had checked out some books from the library on moving and I've been reading them to the boys for over a month, talking to them about it and hoping to get a feel for what they are thinking and expecting.

For Family Home Evening I read them another book about moving and then we talked about all the cool things that will happen when we move. We mentioned the mountains that we could spend time in hiking, camping (with a lot of convincing Mike), playing at the lake, etc. We told them that just like we live close to Mike's family, now we will get to live close to my family for awhile and that they will get to play with cousins, most of which they've never met. We told them about the house and how we'd have a basement they could play in and ride their bikes in until we finished it.

Mike found our neighborhood on google maps and we walked around the neighborhood showing them where they would go to school and the park that is just walking distance from our house. We explained that since Isaac is turning five he will get to go to the same school as Will and it will be less scary if they get to go together.

Then we asked what things might be scary about moving. And then Will's tears started to fall. He talked about not wanting to leave his best friend Carson and not wanting to go somewhere that he doesn't have friends.

It just makes me feel ill thinking about uprooting my kids. Which is why I don't usually think about it. I can talk about to people and be pretty unemotional and mater of fact but if I actually let myself think about what it all means, it brings up yucky feelings and brings back memories I don't really enjoy thinking about.

I understand what it feels like to be the new kid. I know how hard it is to make friends. I know what it's like to feel uncertain and scared. I know how rotten it is to leave somewhere that you love and have to make a positive experience in a place you don't know.

But, I also know that how much joy can come from making new friends and discovering new places. I know there is something to love about everywhere you live. I also know that the only thing that matters is that we make this move together as a family.

We had the boys draw pictures of something they were excited about or scared about. I can't find where Eli's picture got saved on the computer or I'd post it but it is really just a big bunch of blue scribbles representing the hot tub in our backyard that may or may not work.

Will drew three images on the same page. He drew himself outside our new house with tears streaming down his face. Then he drew our new chapel, also with him and tears running down his face. And finally, a picture of him at his new school with kids surrounding him but he is crying, missing his best friend. Heartbreaking.

Then Isaac drew his picture, which represents the mountains and a big blue lake with fish and a bright yellow sun (we can't forget the sun that WILL shine in Colorado). At the bottom he drew himself next to our new house and NO tears.

There's no way around this--it is going to be difficult. Moving always is. Moving here was really hard, mostly for Isaac. I'm hopeful that Mike and I can make this move an adventure and prepare the boys enough so that it's not a shock. I am hoping for a smooth transition, but aware that it will be hard for awhile. Even as an adult who's moved my entire life, I still don't like it. But since I've been through it so many times, hopefully I can be better prepared to help my kids make this a good experience.


Jess and Jen said...

Jen and I both moved a lot growing up but neither of us didn't have nearly the traumatic experiences my sisters seemed to have had. I personally wouldn't mind moving, but will admit that dragging my kids around would cause me some anxiety because of all their anxiety.

We're going to have the girls switch schools next year and that will be a good test... -Jess

Mike and Adrianne said...

Jess, you are right. Mike moved more than we did and he did not have traumatic experiences either but he did get sad having to move. Not all our moving experiences were traumatic for me. I had some pretty rough experiences with some "mean girl" stuff at a few of the schools we attended, so yes, I had some different experiences than you. But, like I said, I also have had some wonderful experiences. I just mean to say that moving is stressful and hard no matter what--good or bad expereince--it still takes a lot of adjustment and new changes and having children now makes it much more difficult. Even though I look forward to some of the changes in Colorado I still don't look forward to having to make new friends and adjust to a new ward and neighborhood.

Jess and Jen said...

Wow, I just re-read my comment: "neither of us didn't have...".

Yes, I went to college. My grammar in that sentence would indicate otherwise.

Good luck in your adventures. Soon you'll be a short 8-hour drive from us. Or is it that we'll be a short 8-hour drive from you?

Mike and Adrianne said...

Jess, we are both excited to visit Utah and to have visitors. Our door is ALWAYS open to you!

Cali said...

That breaks my heart. I hope that your boys fare well. I know that they will eventually, it's the initial part that is hard.

For what it's worth, I'm so glad that you moved to Spanish Fork. My life has been immensely blessed through you; I can't thank you enough for being my friend.

Michelle said...

Reading through this reminded me of all the times I moved as a child. My Dad was in the Air Force for the early part of my childhood until I was 12 when we did our last move, then I moved as an adult at least 10 times. Either way, it's hard, but so good at the same time. The new relationships you make are endless and priceless. I wish you all well as you embark on this new adventure and I will pray that your boys adjust well and make good friends quickly!

The Duke said...

I hope you don't do what I did through the years. I would get attached to people and then we'd move and it would rip my heart out. I finally disengaged in the friendship thing to some extent. It hurt too badly to move. Luckily I still have the friends I made, but they are long-distance friends. I have had difficulty feeling like I belong in Elk Ridge. Don't let the moves harden you in the area of wanting and needing friends. It's kind of lonely now. True friends will always care about you whether you are far or near so keep making friends. Be involved and show you care. It's better than what I have done with our last move.

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, and Josh said...

Will is such a friendly and confident boy, he will do great. I am excited for you and your family, but it breaks my heart to think of you I will not think about it right now.

Papa Doc said...

I am not sorry to see you move. It will be eight or nine hours from us. That will be great. Now if we can just get you to stay put. The Professor will have a lot to do with that.

I never moved as a kid. I was lucky. It must have been tough on you kids to be with Mom and I during our meanderings. Hope you do better.

Dad Clark