Military Kids and Moving
My kids are the classic military kids. They have weathered years of deployments. They have said good-bye to so many friends, and they have moved several times in their short lives.
This particular move is bigger for the boys, though. This is the first move that Joshua and Caleb will remember for the rest of their lives.
Saying good-bye to people that you are close to, people that are like family, is hard. It’s also hard to watch your kids have to deal with the hurt. I had to hold both boys, at separate times, yesterday evening, as they cried over leaving their friends. Oh, that was sad. How it made me want to fix it! But you can’t fix it, you just have to be there.
Caleb was so down that he actually walked home from a school function without telling anyone. Alan had taken the three oldest boys to the school luau. I stayed home with our sick John David. I heard Caleb walk through the door, and he was alone. I called Alan, and sure enough, he didn’t even know Caleb had left. Now don’t judge Alan for this. Alan was watching Daniel constantly, and the older two were playing on the playground. We certainly would not expect Caleb to just up and leave.
The boys walk to and from school every single day, for three years, so they know the route like the back of their hands. Caleb just decided he was sad and tired, and he was going home. He’s such a home-body anyway. But oh my goodness, Caleb. You just never know what wild hair that boy will take!
I always thought that Joshua would have the most trouble handling this move, but he was actually more open this time than his brother. Caleb hid in the truck, as Joshua and Daniel hugged our neighbors, who are family to us, good-bye.
I’ll never forget when we first moved to Washington,D.C. We moved here from my hometown, where my parents lived only 15 minutes away. Alan had been in Iraq for 15 months. When Alan left, Caleb had just turned one, and when he came back, Caleb was a two-year-old. He was a two-year-old that was so attached to my dad that he used to call Granddaddy “Daddy”. There was this one day, in our new Washington D.C. home, that Caleb saw a picture of his Grandaddy. He went and laid himself down at the front door and just cried and cried and cried, wanting to go see his Granddaddy, but he couldn’t because he was miles and miles away.
Oh, how that hurt my heart.
Caleb lost his best friend, the famous Nicholas B., last year when Nicholas B. moved. We were so relieved when Drake moved in across the street. And now Caleb has said good-bye to him too.
Joshua is the kind of kid that has lots and lots of close friends, so he will miss them all, but the hardest part is Xavier. Xavier is his best friend, who lives right next door. Maybe say an extra prayer for all of the boys’ buddies tonight. It’s going to be so real tomorrow, when all of their neighborhood friends have no reason to knock on our door.
I think the full emotional force of the move won’t hit for the boys until we get to our new place……..and suddenly they have a new school and no friends at all. Thankfully, they are both friendly boys who make friends easily. I just hope and pray that we all make new friends in our new neighborhood that also go to the same school. The boys will not be attending the neighborhood school this time, so it will take a little more effort to make new friends. You can bet I will do all I can to help them, though!
I’m still thankful we got to live in one house for three whole years. Finally, the boys were able to establish “old friends.” There’s a huge difference between ‘old friends’, who you already are comfortable with, and ‘new friends’, who still aren’t sure what to expect from you. Aren’t ‘old friends’ the best??
Dear ‘old friends’ both near and far, how much we miss you already!!!
I know. I know. “Focus on the positive.” Tell them what an adventure it is. Make it fun. We do. I think we do those things well. Still, the hard part is there too, and that’s what the boys and their friends had to do the past couple of days. They are so lucky, though. The world is so small now. When we were kids, if a friend moved off, they were never heard from again. That’s not necessary now. We have the internet. We have Facebook. And of all families in the world, ours would be the easiest to keep in touch with, because we even have a blog–and an open door policy. Come visit us on the west coast. They say it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth.