07 January 2010

do over

For the record, my husband and I don't seem to be on the same page about this subject at all. He just didn't see this side of the issue to be an issue. So much so that I almost decided to not publish this, but have decided that in order not to fake what's going on, publish I must. We'll work it out, I'm sure.

Most of my childhood, I grew up in a parsonage. That meant that sometimes we packed everything we owned into a yellow Ryder truck and drove across the miles to a new town, a new home, new schools, new friends.

When I was a kid, I had a love/hate relationship with moving. I loved the excitement of getting to meet new people and discover a new town, but I hated having to leave places I knew and friends I loved.

I remember being most unhappy with our move from Nebraska to Illinois the summer after I finished seventh grade. Do you remember seventh grade? I loved it. My best friend, Rebecca and I spent every second together that we could- before school, in the hallways between classes, after school on the phone or at one another's houses.

Leaving her was devastating to me. I figured that it was for sure that I wouldn't be able to breathe without her by my side. Thankfully, I discovered that wasn't true. But our move to Illinois was not without struggle for me. I remember sitting at the dining room table in the tiny parsonage on 5th street just crying because I didn't want to have to make new friends again. Didn't want to have to start over. Didn't really like the notoriety of being the "new kid".

The only thing that kept me from losing my young mind at the prospect of starting over again was a promise that my parents made to me. And it was big. Huge.

They promised that until I packed up and went to college, it was the last time that I'd have to be the new kid. That I could put down roots and get comfy and plan to graduate as a Panther. So that's just what I did. And can I tell you that I look back at that move now as one of the best things that happened to me as a kid. Really.

When we took the boys from their former school last winter, we promised Matthew (who was in 6th grade at that time) that come hell or high water, we were going to do our best to see that the next time he moves, he's packing boxes to go live in a dorm. I feel strongly about this, and so does my husband; especially since he had a much, much worse experience with a move late in high school.

There's relief and excitement on Matthew's face. Knowing that we're doing everything we can to say that this is it for him. We did move three times already since the summer before he started Kindergarten. He's got the memory of an elephant; unless he's been asked to clean his room. Seventh grade. Oy.

And when we get to the point of graduation as a C-ville Trucker for Matthew, Caleb will be right there on the threshhold of not wanting to make a move. So, the plan right now is to do all we can to stay put through spring of 2020.

It'll come quicker than we know.

But you know what the hard part is for me? No one knows us in the public school system. Not a soul. We can be surrounded by two hundred people at a band concert and feel as though we are the only ones in that entire room.


At least when we moved when I was a kid, we were going so that Dad could serve churches. With congregations of people who were for the most part, warm and loving. Who helped both Mom and Dad in the sometimes lonely quest to get to know people.

We don't have that.

Maybe attending a church in "our" neighboring town is the answer. But that can be hard too, if not next to impossible; depending on the friendliness of staff and members. But at the same time, we've attended a church in Green Bay for over five years. Connections have been made, but even seeing our church family only once a week is tough. All I know is that if it weren't for the promise made to our oldest son, I'd be headed back to the city. Where I had a job that I loved, and people I knew. Neighbors to say "hey, come on over" and they'd come.

I miss my measly little job as a lunch and recess supervisor for the boys' school. This move has even made it so that I live now and hour and a half from my best friend; I've seen her all of twice since December of 2008. That's been hard since before the move and a job change for her, we'd get together every couple of weeks.

I hate this.


Missy said...


I'm sorry Jen. I know the feeling. I moved a lot as a kid too and I told Jon that I would not be picking up and moving my kids at all. Once or twice I could handle. That's it.

Changing churches is a hard decision, but maybe it will be what makes the difference in your life and you won't feel quite as lonely.

I'll be praying for you.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Arg, now I feel like a bad friend. Know that you can call me anytime you're feeling lonely--I may not be able to come over, but we can sure chat!

And also know that you'd be welcomed with open arms if you'd come to our church. We'd love to have you!