Our family recently set off on an adventure of sorts, renting out our newer house on 2 acres in suburbia, and moving to a 70 year old house in the heart of an historic old town.
The move came with some trade offs, like no more cable television and downsizing to one car, in return for being closer to family and living in our ideal small town setting, that allowed us to walk to the playground, post office and ice cream stand.
This was an exciting change for my husband and I, but I wasn’t as confident about how my 2 and 4 year old kids would react. We had moved before, but they were infants then, and didn’t even seem to notice since the crib and milk supply didn’t change with the relocation.
Growing up, I loved living in the same house until I went to college, but this would be the 5th place my 4 year old had lived in her few years of life. We’d been in the last house for 2 years, so I braced myself for the immense guilt I would feel for uprooting her yet a fifth time.
I started talking about the new house a month before we moved and had them go for a pre-move-in visit. We reassured them that all our stuff was coming with us and answered strange little people questions about how we would move the carpets, sinks and walls. We included them in packing activities and talked about all the new house perks, like being closer to Grammy and Grampy, having a separate play room, and my daughter attending preschool down the street for the first time (something she was living for).
On the day we moved in, the kids loved running around and exploring the new house, unpacking toys they had not seen in weeks, and setting up their rooms. Two nights passed with smooth sailing. I penciled in breathing a sigh of relief for the following day.
On night three my husband came into my daughter’s room where I was tucking her in to tell me my son had just asked to go to the old house. He even repeated it in my son’s two year old speak to really drag me down in the depths of sadness with him: “Want to go old house”.
Latching onto this, my daughter said she was ‘homesick’ and started to cry. Before long she was sobbing with her main vocalized concern being that she liked the color of our old house (yellow) better than our new house (brick).
My mind instantly skipped ahead to the thousands of dollars worth of therapy my kids would need for being ripped out of their home for our small town whim. I imagined the sleepless nights ahead with both children inconsolable and missing their old rooms. I started a countdown to a day in the not too distant future, when both kids would set off with their tiny bandana knapsacks hitchhiking for our old house and cutting all ties with their serial mover parents.
In reality, both kids were asleep within minutes and the house was quiet. Crisis averted.
The next morning everyone resumed their activities and the kids continued to explore and enjoy the old house and old town that were new to us.
Apparently no adventure is complete without a side of drama, and most of the time fall out from that drama is nowhere near as bad as my over active imagination and the bedtime tears of two toddlers would have me believe.
Bio: Susan helps other bloggers get featured on the sites they aspire to, on her blog resource site Beyond Your Blog. Pecked To Death By Chickens is Susan’s humor blog, though occasionally she’ll author a poignant post revealing her soft underbelly (a euphemism AND a literal description). Features on sites like BlogHer, Blunt Moms, BonBon Break, In The Powder Room and of course Scary Mommy, help feed her attention seeking behavior. She still hasn’t figured out what Instagram is, so check her out on Facebook and Twitter instead.