Moving with Kids
In a few weeks, our family will move across the country, back to my hometown. Our family has experienced the spectrum of emotions about the move: excitement, hope, anxiety, and sadness. Sometimes a few feelings all at once!
Looking Forward To Hellos As We Say Goodbye
I have always sensed the weight and importance of walking my children through this move in a healthy way, allowing time to discuss all the feelings as they surface. I felt a little lost about how to do this. I wanted my kiddos to process leaving friends and our home here but also look ahead to the new opportunities waiting for them in the Midwest.
My kids each have favorite activities that I knew they would love to continue after the move. I researched new Boy Scout troops and nearby mountain biking trails for my son. My daughter loves her inclusive Little League team, and I found the same Challenger league exists within driving distance of our house! I found a horsey summer book club for my daughter who loves horses and reading. Two-for-one win! And maybe by continuing these hobbies, they will meet new friends.
Lean on Friends for Support
A friend of mine made a similar big move a few years ago. I reached out last month for her input on a long-distance move. She suggested that we research places to explore in our new home. Since I spent my childhood there, I had plenty of suggestions. My kids have spent time every summer with my parents in my hometown, they had even more ideas. As their list grew, so did their anticipation.
My friend also advised that the kids find at least one friend in California who could become a pen-pal as they made the transition and developed new friendships. We went shopping for letter-writing supplies: creative stationery, envelopes, stickers, and stamps. They will give these pen-pal kits to their chosen friends before we leave…something to look forward to seeing in our new mailbox!
Be Mindful of Our Own Feelings
In the midst of walking through this big change with our children, it has been important for my husband and I to be mindful of our own feelings. We need to take the time to discuss and process our own emotions, too. Children are intuitive and will sometimes follow our lead as they watch us. In the end, actions do speak louder than words.
Moving day is just around the corner. I hope my kiddos will look forward to new opportunities and activities, even as we say goodbye to our life here.
Jo Baldwin first considered teaching as a career in seventh grade after helping a cousin survive summer school homework. Jo’s high school English teacher also inspired her love of teaching and continues to be one of her mentors to this day. After graduating with a B.A. in English and a secondary teaching credential from Northern Illinois University, she moved to California and taught in a private secondary school and then a public middle school. Jo now spends her time homeschooling two of her children, chasing animals on her hobby farm, and writing children’s literature. She loves to travel and explore wherever life takes her, wander through used bookstores, drink strong coffee with plenty of cream, and use newly sharpened pencils. She agrees with William Butler Yeats’ viewpoint on learning: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”