More complicated than I imagined

Posted on: August 26, 2014

Last month my family and I moved from Illinois to South Carolina.

Moving is never an easy process.  We all know this.  Finding a new home, packing box and after box, loading your precious belongings up into a truck and trekking them elsewhere, unpacking…it’s all a packaged deal.  But, if you make a big move, like we did, there is more involved.  You sadly say goodbye to family and friends not knowing when you’ll see them again.  When you arrive at your new home you unpack, begin to settle in and start the long search for a new doctor, dentist, mechanic, hair dresser, church, and everything else you left behind.  You’re in a new territory; you’re on unfamiliar ground.  You wonder when you’ll begin to meet new people and make friends; when you’ll begin to feel comfortable with finding your way around the area; wonder if your children will like their new school.  It can be a very stressful and overwhelming time.  As an adult, we know moves like this are a part of life and happen for many reasons.  A move may involve stress, inconveniences and sad goodbyes, but we understand why it needs to take place.  But, how do you explain a move to a three-year old child?


As my family began to prepare for our big move, my husband and I did all we could to prep our three-year old for the move.  We found a wonderful Sesame Street app for our phones and tablets and began to explain to “G” that we were going on a big moving adventure.  We told him we were moving to a new house where he’d have his own bedroom, a yard to play in, would make new friends, and would begin Preschool.  “G” asked a lot of questions, of course, but seemed to be excited for the move.  I was feeling optimistic seeing him so excited, but wasn’t prepared for what came next.

After only a couple of nights in our new home, “G” began to say he wanted to go back to our old home.  In his sweet little voice he would softly say, “Mommy, I don’t want to be in this house.  I want to go to our old house.”  It was heartbreaking.  He sounded so sad and had a longing in his voice for his wish to be fulfilled.  Then he began asking for his friends from Illinois.  “Mommy, when can I play with “Z” and “H”?”,  “Are we going to “N” and “E”‘s house today?”  “I want to see “E” at church.”  I wanted so badly to be able to blink my eyes and wish his little friends into our new home and they’d appear.  But, instead, I held him close and tried my best to reassure him he would love our new home and make new friends when he started Preschool.  It didn’t feel like it was enough but it was all I could offer him.

Each time he asks about our old house or his old friends, I repeat the same thing and hope it helps.  It’s all I can do.  Until I find some magical way to make him understand what’s happening, this will have to be enough.

But, I’ve had a glimmer of hope recently that “G” has begun to understand more.  The other day we were in the car on our way home from the store and he said to me, “Mommy, I want to go to our new house with my race car bed.  I don’t want to go to the other house.”  I told him I was glad and breathed a sigh of relief to myself.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  He’s coming around….


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