Saturday, July 10, 2010
Change is hard. It is hard for adults and it is hard for children. But change can also be a good thing. It can sometimes be very hard to see the good in it when you are going through it. But after you experience enough of it in your life, you start to learn that it is inevitable and that it can often lead to something even better.
Moving is a huge change. A huge change and a huge stress for a family. And not only for the family that is moving, but for the families that are left behind. Since my family is the one experiencing the loss of two close family friends moving right now, that is the one I am focused on.
Luckily we treasure the friends that are moving right now and when we say "good-bye" it is not really a final one. We will still see them. We will still be close friends. It is just the dynamics of our friendship is changing. Meeting at the coffee shop for a cafe mocha can't just be spontaneous anymore, it will need to be more planned. Having their kids over to play for the afternoon can't just be a drive by request, but now needs to be scheduled a little bit ahead. Popping over for a glass of wine may now need to be placed on the calendar ahead of time. Working or volunteering together may not be quite as easy. Ugh. Just writing this and thinking of it this way brings me down. And it is surely not the way I want to present it to my kids. Is there a more positive way to look at this for my myself and my family?
OK. Let's turn this thinking around. We have another place to visit now when we get tired of doing the same old thing around here. And now when we visit, it is not for just an hour here or there between activities, but a good period of time where it is just us and them. No interruptions, just time to chat and play. Kids...can you say, sleepovers!!!! How fun is that. Here is another word for you...surprises! I absolutely love getting in the car, destination unknown for the kids, and surprising them with a day spent with good friends. Mini, affordable "vacations" in a new town! New things to do! Let's explore their town for the day. Their ice cream stands, playgrounds, swimming, parks, zoos, fairs. Different things to talk about! Who doesn't love some good gossip about the new neighbors or what is going on in someone else's schools??? And then of course, there is email, facebook, IM, skype, media messaging, texting, cell phones. We could be more in touch now living further away than we were living in the same town!
Ahhhh...that sounds better to me. More comforting, exciting, and manageable. And more of the way I want my kids to see it. Truth be told, I am happy for my friends. There moves are going to make their lives easier. Their families closer. Their time freer. I love them enough to know that this is what is right for them right now. I would rather see them content and at peace further away, than stressed and maxed out close by.
Selfishly though, I am still sad. My kids will be sad to lose the everyday closeness of their neighborhood friends, their hometown friends. But I am hoping to show them what friendship truly is with these moves. It is easy to be friends with someone you see everyday. Someone who is so tangled up in your immediate world. But the rewards for putting the work into keeping friendships with those who are further away are great. Lifelong friends are amazing friends no matter how close or far away from you they are. They are worth the effort. And in the case of true friends, love makes the effort not really that hard at all.
McCuskers and Panettas we will miss you terribly. May your moves be the beginning of new and wonderful journeys. May you make many new friends and feel comfort and joy in your new homes. May your kids love their new homes, schools, friendships and activities. And may you have no time to think about what you have left behind, because we will remain right beside you every step of the way! We love you and look forward to your "hello" parties in your new homes.
May your heart be at ease,