Moving away from family is sad- not matter how exciting the prospects.
I have spent most of my life in a 60 mile radius. There was an exception for college, and for two years when I turned 4, but the rest of my life has been spent close to home. My sisters each moved away for a while, and for the first time since high school, my whole family has been back together- something I always wanted.
Now it is my turn; to try something new, to live somewhere else, to know who I am outside of the surroundings that remind me of who I am supposed to be. This is something else I have always wanted.
But now I have kids, and my son and daughter have grown knowing what it means to have ready access to their grandparents and aunts and uncles- to feel the confidence that comes from being accepted, loved and adored for who they are- by so many people. I didn’t expect my kids yo have best friends at 3 and 5 years old. So it’s different.
It isn’t that we have to go- though we would be foolish not to- but it is more than that. It is a chance to experience a different climate, and new people… a lifestyle that offers outdoor activities all year long and sunshine 300 days each year. It is an opportunity to know a different part of our own country and for my husband to grow professionally in a way that is exciting for him and for us.
I look forward to all of these things. I am eager to experience understanding our family for our own dynamic; with different surroundings and people, and without the reminders that keep me boxed into who I have always been.
It’s just the leaving; the saying good-bye, the knowing that my dad is not a phone call away to remove a bat that has entered my house when my husband is away. It is the understanding that we can no longer visit my mom at work when it all is just too lonely.
It is the already longing for the impromptu sleepovers of my siblings… that are always child inclusive because my sisters and brother value my kids as much as I do. It is the wondering of who my own family will be without the support of my own.
I do not know how to reconcile this. I am unsure of how to prepare myself so that I lead my children to the exciting and positive experience we are about to have.
So I am trying to be with it. I am not distracting us and my tears flow freely. When my children ask what is wrong, I tell them; that I am sad. That I will miss my mom and dad and Momo and grandmother and Minna and Bridgey and Uncle TJ. I tell them that this is the place I have always called home- that the ocean is in my blood and that this is the blood of my family.
I also tell them that I am excited. I share all of the things that I am looking forward to- like stability, adventures, and exploration. I share with them that our whole family will never change and that the people they love are never more than a plane ride away. I remind them that all they have to do is call any one of these people and they will drop everything to come. Just as it always has been.
For now this will have to do. Once we are settled things will seem brighter. They will be fresh, new and exciting. My children will fall asleep in the only home they have ever known; the space between my husband and I.
As time passes we will evaluate what continues to make sense for our family and adjust accordingly. In the meantime, we will take with us the unshakeable love of our family, and the knowledge that something as small as a plane ride can’t compete with a large family who loves deeply.