Our family is getting ready to move from the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area up to central Minnesota. We’ll be closer to my wife’s parents and my own, and right in the heart of beautiful MN lake country. It’s something we’ve wanted to do as a family for a number of years. Since we’re homeschooling the kids this year anyway, now seemed like a good year to make a move like this.
Of course, we’re all anxious about the move, particularly about leaving our siblings and their families behind, about leaving our dear friends at church behind, about leaving our beloved current home behind.
Yesterday, one of my five-year-old sons was having a rough day: arguing about everything, picking fights with his siblings, his mother, & me—all very unusual behavior for him. We found him in his bedroom, pouting. (He wasn’t hard to find, since he slam the door as hard as he could on his way in.) We said to him, “Even though we knew you’re excited to live in our new house, are you feeling kinda angry that we’re moving?”
He looked shocked for a second, wide-eyed, then started sobbing. “Yes! Why do we have to move to a stupid new house? I just want to keep our house!”
The one time we moved when I was an older kid, my parents moved the week I was at summer camp. I now understand why: the stress of moving is everywhere in our family; the kids don’t have a sufficiently established sense of time to know when it will all be over. (Answer: a week and a half.) To them, this move just feels like a gigantic, vague monster that will never leave them alone.
It might be good to re-watch Inside Out sometime this week. And, of course, to just keep on letting the kids talk about what they’re feeling. Turns out it’s not far from what we’re feeling: excitement mixed with a vague sense of unease, fear of all the uncertainty, and a desire to just have it all be done.