As parents, it’s easy to think that we know what’s best. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, don’t send dirty Snapchats or pics, basic common sense things. What we often forget is that we don’t always know what’s best. That before you had your first kid, you didn’t have kids. And if you’re like me and Husband, you’re the baby of your fam and didn’t have to take care of littles … unless you thought it was a great idea to start your own weird version of the Babysitters’ Club … and you ended up being the only member. The point is, your kids are essentially guinea pigs in the game of parenting.
When we moved from Germany to England this past summer, Husband and I thought if we spared the kids the actually pain of moving, it might be an easier transition. Because honestly as an adult, I would love to have the magic moving fairy unpack all of my boxes, hang up all the wall stuff and voila — no sea of cardboard and paper. We sent them off on their adventure with my mom and dad, unpacked their rooms and got them all set up. What we totally forgot is that they’re not adults. They don’t really care about the magic moving fairy. They care about saying their see-you-laters, playing one last game on the Xbox with their buds and most importantly, having closure. Silly parents.
Fast forward a few months. Boy Child has adjusted relatively well. Girl Child has not. Since she’s in the throes of angsty, emo tweendom, it’s hard to tell if it’s because she’s almost 12, or if it’s because she misses her people, or if it’s all of the above. A few weeks ago, Boy Child had a wrestling tournament (I’ll have to save the whole wrestling decision for another time) in our old stomping grounds in Germany. Since it was a holiday weekend, we decided that it would be a good time to go cheer on the team, hopefully let Girl Child see some of her peeps, and maybe, just maybe, feel a small sense of peace with the move.
When you go back to places you’ve been before, it’s kind of strange. The first time I went back to California after moving to Texas, I was shocked that people had moved on. I know it sounds crazy, but in my mind, even though I had moved to a different state, started a new job and had essentially moved on, I didn’t even stop to think about the friends and family I left behind moving onward and upward. It’s easy to think of them frozen in the space and time when you last saw them. It’s fun to take a jaunt down memory lane, but soon you realize that as much as you may have loved a place, it isn’t the same anymore. You can’t go back to what it was. The chapter has closed. You might revisit it in later ones, but that particular one is done.
For Girl Child, she was able to go back, see her friends and realize that her friends had kept moving forward, just as she had. And with the advent of the internet and Roblox, she can still keep in touch with them. It’s not the end of a friendship, it’s just growing in parallel directions at the same time. Since we’ve been home, the angsty tween-ness has been brought down to a reasonable level. Although she misses her friends, she was able to realize that her life is now in the U.K. and she was happy to come home. For her, the chapter had closed and she’s finally come to terms with the move. I’ll let you know how it goes 18 months from now when we have to do it all over again.