Moving to me is like having a fresh start. It’s finding a new home, making new friends, embarking on an adventure. Whether you move around the block, several miles away, clear across the country or world, each move offers new opportunities.
I grew up in the same house until I left for college. My mom still
lives in my childhood home. For a long time after I left, I had the
same room, with the same bed, the same posters and furnishings. I had a
sense of regularity, consistency and stability. Not much changed and I
always knew where everything was. The longer I stayed away, the
appearance slowly began to change, but I always came back to the same
home. I didn’t necessarily want the same stability in my own life, but
it was nice to come home to it every now and again.
I enjoy moving! Not the physical part of it, of course, but the energy
that comes with moving. The excitement of a starting over; whether
that meant a new space, new job, or friends.
Having moved eighteen times since leaving for college, I have it down
to a science. You accumulate less, use the bare necessities, and learn
to travel light. I find that I’m more flexible, social, resourceful and
adventurous. I’m more spontaneous and less attached to material
things. I make friends easily and always manage to find my way around.
Moving when you’re single, or at least without children, doesn’t hold
the same responsibilities. It’s easy, effortless and a whole lot of
fun. I hadn’t intended to be a transplant. I’m definitely not a gypsy
or a nomad, but opportunities came and I followed my heart.
When I finally got married and had a baby, I really thought I would settle down. This meant buying a house and living happily-ever-after.
Well, it’s definitely been happily, but not ever-after.
In our son’s three years, he will have moved three times, with at least another time anticipated in the not so distant future.
As a mother, you worry about the effects a move, or multiple moves will
have on your children. Will Braden feel insecure, unstable, and
anxious? Will he become fearful, distant, or detached? Will he miss out
on making solid childhood friendships? Friendships that will last him a
Experts may argue that moving is traumatic for a child and that children
need stability and consistency in their lives; to which I agree, to
some extent. But what about the adventure that moving brings? The
life lessons, experiences, and growth that you gain from living in
multiple places, cultures and worlds? What about the flexibility that
you learn, the sense of freedom you develop, or the acceptance of
Don’t get me wrong, I want Braden to be grounded, but does that mean he
needs to be grounded to one place or that he needs to be
attached to a house or things?
Children do need security and familiarity, but that shouldn’t come from
their relationship with things. It’s the relationships they form with
people in their lives that should help them feel secure and loved.
I want Braden to have friendships that will last him a lifetime, but that doesn't mean his friendships need to be local. What an amazing gift
it will be for him to have friends, like his parents, that he has made
through the course of his life, who are scattered all over the world.
Friends that he can call, Skype, email or travel to see.
I have no doubt that these next couple of years will provide Braden with
experiences that will shape his development in a positive way. He will
learn multiple languages, experience unique cultures, foods and people. He will learn differences and acceptance.
I am, New York-born, Bostonian-bred, and Californian at heart. Now,
this city-sunshine girl is finding herself moving for the ninetieth
time. This time, half way around the world not only to a new place, but
also a new language and culture. This time, however, I get to do it
with my husband and son.
And together, we'll find the stability in moving within ourselves.