Moving with Kids

Have you ever moved?
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I’m talking about a major move, one that takes you at least to a new state, if not a whole new region of the U.S. or new a country. We have twice.

Our first move came just as my husband was finishing up his masters degree. Until then we had spent our entire married life, just shy of seven years, in Utah. We both attended school there, and that’s how we met. All of our firsts were there:  first date, first kiss, first apartment, first baby, first home, first grown-up jobs. While we cherished all the memories we created there, we felt we had outgrown our college town. We were ready to move on. When a job listing came up in New Hampshire we figured, “Why not?” Neither of us had ever lived farther east than Utah and we thought it might be fun to give the east coast a try. Our kids had just turned three and 11 months. We figured it was a perfect time to make a big change.

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And a “big change” it was. The accent, the culture, the weather, the sun rising over the ocean. We felt incredibly blessed to find that my college roommate’s sister had moved to the same city two years earlier. She was amazing in helping us with our transition.

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Nearly seven years later (do we see a pattern?) my husband was feeling the itch for a job change. He mostly looked locally  since we were in an underwater home. But there was one job he couldn’t help applying for, and it was in Pennsylvania. We had always gushed about the beauty of Pennsylvania while driving through on the way to visit family, but neither of us had ever imagined we’d ever live there. Our goal was to make it back west, nearer to family. Life has a funny way of taking you where it will. The job offer was amazing. We found renters for our New Hampshire home. We found a beautiful home to rent in the Philadelphia area. We were even going to be near friends who moved there a year ago.  How great is that? Everything came together….in less than a month’s time.

The hardest part about the move this time around was telling the kids. When we told them, Goosey burst into tears and sobbed for a good 15 minutes. She didn’t want to leave her friends, our home, and her beloved school. I don’t blame her. It was all she had known. The boys (yes, we added another child in New Hampshire) were similarly hesitant, but without the intensity. Our challenge, which we had anticipated, was to help the kids with the move.

So, we began talking up the positives of the move.

“We have a new city to explore!”

“You’re going to make new friends!”

“Your New Hampshire friends can be pen pals!”

“We’ll only be a short train ride away from New York City!”

“Washington D.C. is only three hours from Philly!”

“Just think….Amish country!”

Friends, it worked. Within the next 15 minutes Goosey’s eyes were alive as her mind raced through the possibilities. Was she still sad about leaving her friends and her school? Of course. But the potential advantages were outweighing the negatives. She knew it.

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