Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moving Day

Until Chris and I officially moved in together, I moved around quite frequently. I switched schools several times, starting over from the bottom rung of the friendship ladder over and over again. I continued this trend right through college, until I graduated from the third college I attended. For a year I lived in the dorms at college #1, then I hopped back and forth between my mom's, Chris's parents' house, my grandparents' house, my aunt's house, and finally my cousin's flat; all while I worked on my degree at colleges #2 and #3.

Life settled down when Chris and I moved into our own place just before my college graduation. We rented a teeny little house for four years before buying our first home, which we then lived in for nine years before moving into our current house (and we've been here three years this month).

For the first 22 years of my life, I was accustomed to sort of living on the go. I never felt settled. We always had boxes that were unpacked. I spent years essentially living out of a suitcase. It was an odd feeling, but what I was used to. I envied my friends who had lived in the same house since birth, who had known each other since kindergarten. I wished that I had grown up like that too.

My kids have moved once, except Mattie who came home from the hospital to this house. They may never move again until they go off on their own. And now that is an odd feeling. Even though, as a child, I always wanted to be rooted in one place and have it be my true home, as an adult I find the prospect kind of stifling. That on-the-go lifestyle stuck with me during my formative years. Although it's nice living someplace that feels like home, I go through phases when I fantasize about starting over and living someplace else. There's a part of me that thinks that staying here is best for the kids. Then there's another part of me that says moving frequently taught me important lessons my kids won't be forced to learn. I learned the art of making friends at a new school. I learned adaptability. I learned to get by with less because half of my belongings could be in storage or packed away at any given time. I learned to appreciate a change of scenery, and, in fact, to love change. 

But there were things I didn't learn too. I never knew the friendship of a friend from kindergarten all the way through high school. I never knew the comfort of a home that was truly mine. I never knew the serenity of being settled.

Whichever path we're on, there are sure to be lessons along the way. Different paths offer different experiences, but that doesn't necessarily mean one path is better than another. So whether we move again or stay put until all of our children have graduated from high school, they will each find their way.

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