I should have known it was too good to be true. Apart from some tears from the older one when we first announced our move, and some general crabbiness and grumbling from the younger one, our kids seemed to have accepted the inevitable fairly well. No threats to nail themselves to the floor, or run away from home, or stay here and live with friends. As we approached the last few weeks of our lives in SC, I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, this move was going to be easier than I thought.
And then it happened. One night recently the dam broke, and so did my heart. My youngest girl got into the car after gymnastics practice and sobbed all the way home. She cried and she begged me to “convince” her Daddy to change his mind, to find a job here, anything so we wouldn’t have to move. “We can’t go!” she repeated over and over. She begged me to homeschool her so she doesn’t have to go to a new school. I could have reminded her of the positives in our move (and there are plenty) but it wasn’t the time. I could have just been hard-hearted and told her it’s too late to change course. But the truth is she’s entitled to her opinion and her grief. I don’t need to jolly her out of it. What I did do was make a lot of sympathetic noises, letting her know I understand that she’s sad and that it’s OK to feel that way,and that I’m sad to leave my friends too. Making the whole thing even worse is that we were driving in the car and trying to get home before bedtime, so I couldn’t even hold her in my lap and comfort her while she poured out her heart.
We moms are designed to be the nurturers, the boo-boo kissers. We make things all better. But this, this, is one thing I cannot fix. They will be sad and that’s OK. We all must learn to manage our emotions or they will manage us. Sadness is not going to kill them, and it will pass.
I don’t have any smooth answers or formulas for ways to make this transition easier for my girls. I sure wish I did. As an adult who can look past the scary newness of it all to the reality, I know that they will both make friends. The younger girl is a friend-magnet, that one. She’s bubbly and fun and smiley, and kids are attracted to her like moths to a flame. Her older sister is quieter and more introverted, but with such a sweet spirit that people can’t help but love her. However none of that helps them right now.
I will confess to a tendency to want to skip the forest and get right to the clearing. I don’t like dealing with messy emotions, and will just as quickly laugh at “The Notebook” as cry. (OK, the truth? I always laugh at “The Notebook”.) You might call me hardhearted for that but on the flip side, I tear up at certain commercials. Anyway, I’d rather just skip over the rough, finding-our-footing part and get right to the enjoying-making-new-friends and starting-to-feel-at-home part, yet I’m realistic enough to know that the process takes time. So this is where we are, and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. But it will get better. Right?
I finally got the little one to sleep and went to bed myself. I cried more than a few tears for my hurting daughter, and then I did what I felt prompted to do: I went to her, put a hand on her head (gently so as not to wake her up), and I prayed over her. I prayed for peace that passes all understanding. I prayed for both my girls to find friends in our new place, that they will find some positives in this move.
In the end, once again, I have to trust that God has a plan for the transition time, just as we have so strongly felt His hand in the whole moving process. It’s scary not knowing when/if/how you’ll find new friends, even for ME but I rest in the assurance that God works all things to the good (Romans 8:28).