3/20/2006

Moving

Yes, it's official, we are moving. The whole neighborhood knows, the ward here AND the ward in our new city knows (gosh, the Mormon world is small!), and I am awaiting a call from our realtor as I blog so I can get cracking on putting an offer on a house that, according to her, is going to go fast if we don't ACT NOW!!!! (Does a realtor ever say anything else? Just once I'd like to hear one say, "oh, you know, this house has been here for SUCH a long time, 1 more week to decide won't make much of a difference.") Anyway.... Jacob knows we are moving. We've talked about it, and we've dragged him around on enough house hunting exhibitions that he's pretty much hip to the idea. But, just today, he said, "Wait, if we get a new house, does that mean I can't go to my best friend's house?" Well, um, technically, I suppose it is possible that he could go to his friend's house, but it's definitely not something that will happen say, more than once a year. Maybe. Jacob may understand what's happening, but I don't think he gets it. As a kid, we did not move around very much. I moved once that I can remember, from L.A. to Salt Lake when I was 10, and, well, I was fairly traumatized. I got over it, I guess, but it certainly wasn't my idea of fun, and I wasn't pleased at all with the whole thing. Like I said, we only did it once, so maybe if I did it more, I would have gotten better at the making friends immediately aspect of the whole thing. I have often wondered if there was something my parents could have done to soften the blow at all. I was certainly old enough to figure things out for myself, and I'm sure my parents' attitude was, "The kids'll be fine. They'll adjust." Which, of course, we did. But I still wonder if there is something we can do to make this transition easier for our son who is badly going to miss his neighborhood and school friends. They might fade easily after time (Do I remember friends from when I was 4? Hmm...hardly), but I think in the meantime things might be hard. Any thoughts?

14 Comments:

Blogger Cordeiro said...

One thing I did learn how to do as a kid was move. Every three years or so, the US Army would dictate where my new home would be. There wasn't any negotiation about it. Then again, I did grow up on Army bases around the world, so my peer group was in much the same situation. I knew no different life until I was 16 or so.

Emphasize the positive aspects of your new home. Williamsburg is a fantastic little community, but its a cultural world away from Springfield. Not quite the difference between LA and SLC - I've done that transition too, and am still recovering from it.

Bottom line, your son will adjust just fine - probably faster than you will. Good luck - try and steer clear of the red coat re-enactments.

3/20/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Tri Mama said...

We have moved each year of our 8 year marriage, so I am sad to say that I am getting good at this. One thing we did for my little guy was to let him pack his own box of his favorite toys and I made a very big deal out of it. He labeled the box, taped it up, and it was the first box on the moving van and off the moving van. Having his own box really made him feel in control with all the chaos of moving.

3/20/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

No thoughts- my dad still lives in the same house I grew up in, and my mom right around the corner- So I'm no help at all!

I just wanted to wish you good luck- moving is way up there on the stress factor, and I hope it all goes smooth. Jacob will be ok, I'm sure- at four they make friends and adapt better than at fourteen. Congrats to Mr. Heather on the new job, too.

Oh, and what's with realtors and the constant rush?? They make me soooo nervous!

3/20/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger ubercyl said...

Every time we move (which is often) we put the children's rooms on the truck last and unpack and put them together first in the new place. We also let them help with the packing, makes them feel like a part of things.

3/20/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger TftCarrie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/20/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger TftCarrie said...

We just made a cross-country move a few months ago. I was really worried about my 3 year old making the transition. Her best friend lived right above us and she had many friends at ballet, school and church.

Here are things that I did to try to make the transition a little easier:

-Before we left, I had little wallet pictures printed of her and I put our new address on the back (and an e-mail address that I created just for her--it is an alias that comes to my own account). She was able to hand out the pictures to all the people that she was going to miss.

-I continually stressed that we would find a new friends, a new school, and a new church when we moved to our new house. This seemed to excite her.

-On her first day of church, I sent her to class with a bag full of little treats to share with the other kids. It was a way to break the ice so she could get to know everyone.

-Like others have said, her room was the last to pack and the first to unpack.

-My best girlfriend made us a scrapbook of memories from our time in Queens which has been a godsend. DD flips through it at least once a week.

-Lastly, I have been slower in getting the house put together here because I have really been concentrating on getting involved in church and in the community. I try to go to everything, volunteer for everything and have people over as much as I can. I made it a priority to find her a new school and she started swimming lessons just a few weeks after we got here.

It is all a little overwhelming but I think it has really made a difference in her adjusting. She has made new friends quickly while she still talks about her old friends. I have also reaped the benefits of quickly getting her involved. It has forced me to be more outgoing and not wait for others to iniatiate friendships. Before we left, I don't think she really understood how her life would change because she wouldn't be able to run upstairs to see her best friend. Now that we are here, I think she gets it, but she is accepting the new way of life quite well. I am sure it was harder for the friend who is left behind.

Good luck!

3/20/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kaimi said...

Heather,

We just did exactly this. A few things to note:

Yes, we had the kids unpacked ASAP. That helped a lot.

Also, you will have about 1000% more Nate time than you have now. And that makes moving (from practice to academia) a massive, massive improvement. You'll have dinner with him every night. (Warning: This takes a few months of getting used to!) You'll have him helping with Jacob every morning for school. You'll have afternoons of baseball or of bike riding or of (the kids current favorite) rocket launching. The move will be a huge lifestyle change, and it's about 90% positive.

You're not just dealing with a traditional move. You're moving from D.C.-plus-1/4-of-a-normal-dad-time to Virginia-plus-a-full-normal-dad-time. That's almost certainly going to more than make up for neighborhood shifts.

He'll find new friends. I recommend getting involved immediately in babysitting co-ops or play groups or whatever else. When we moved, Indigo was sad for a month or two, talking about her little friend Ammon back in New York. But then she became fast friends with a few of the little girls here in the ward, and I can't remember the last time she got all sad and nostalgic about Ammon - she has far too much fun now playing with Olivia and Madeline and Stephanie and all of her friends here.

(This is all from my viewpoint, but I think that Mardell would agree on these - I'll mention to her that she ought to drop by and make a comment).

Good luck! You're going to have a great, great move.

3/20/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Tracy-

I think the realtors are in a constant rush because their own mortgage is due, too!

Thanks for the suggestions--a lot to think about. I do think that it will be harder for the best friends left behind. Jacob's best friend at school is going to be particularly sad. They have a serious relationship going!

Now if I could just get my house clean enough to sell on the market....

3/20/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

We moved when my oldest was 4. It was hard. I won't lie. But that was largely I think because we moved away from Grandma. We used to have dinner at my parents' every Sunday. Now, we see them 3-4 times a year. Sam still wants to move "back to Salt Lake City" so he can see grandparents more often. It's still hard when we say goodbye to them. But we are well established in our new hometown (been here 2.5 years now) and it's looking more and more likely we'll stay here permanently. I hope so. I hate moving! And kids do in fact adjust.

My best advice is, when you move, jump in with both feet. Go to every activity at church. Get involved at the preschool right away. Start inviting people over. It seems hard when you're still exhausted from moving, but it's the thing that will help a new place feel like home the quickest, both for you and for Jacob.

3/20/2006 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

If at all possible, get him involved in a group before you move. Boy Scouts (I'm not clear on how old your son is) or perhaps a mommy group. At least take him to church in the new ward a couple of times before the move. It will help things if he can start some friendships to move to.

3/20/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger marian said...

My little guy wasn't really old enough or attached enough to anyone to be socially affected by our move, but I still was worried about him dealing with all of his stuff being packed away and worrying about seeing it all again. I got a number of great books from the library that dealt with moving - go to your local library and ask the librarian, they most certainly have a selection that they recommend to all the moving families! That way when you talk about it you can talk about the characters in the book as well - it gives him another frame of reference.

3/20/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Didn't move much here, either. Mayb you could have a little goodbye party and make it a celebration... talk to him about the fun of writing letters, tell him you can take and send pcitures to each other, maybe even talk on the phone once a month or soemthing.

3/21/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

I don't suppose you are movign to my town are ya?

OH we so need a good OT. Well, or ST, or um.. PT.

*chuckle*

Good luck to you Heather!

3/21/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Mommy said...

It sounds that you've accepted that this will be hard no matter what you do or say. That's a really positive step in my opinion. We recently moved 15 minutes away from our old house and it was STILL hard for our 3 year old. He has the same friends, the same school, the same primary, but he sometimes says he wants his old room back. It's going to happen, so just reassure him that YOU aren't going to leave. It's a new adventure, but it's okay to be sad.
And, as my mom always used to say, it takes a LOT more to really screw up a kid than you thought!!:) I think you'll do just fine!

3/22/2006 04:51:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home