This evening, after 13 whole days of Kindergarten, my daughter came home and, in her drunken-stupor-like exhaustion, asked my husband when we’re moving. This might rattle some parents but in our house it’s a perfectly logical question…we’ve moved a lot.
Our moves might not rival fellow World Moms Blogger, Dee Harlow’s, who moves every two years, but in the five-and-a-half years since our daughter joined this life journey, we’ve moved enough to precipitate such questioning.
Our daughter was born in Washington, DC; two months later, we packed up and hit the road. For three months we stayed in no fewer than nine different places before settling in to graduate housing at my husband’s Massachusetts business school. Our daughter’s first bedroom was her Pack N’ Play; she didn’t get a real crib until she was almost a year old. When she turned two, my husband graduated and we moved again. This time into a rental in the center of the town we now live in. Six months later, just before her brother was born, we bought a house and moved in.
Our daughter moved three times before she turned three and lived in a panoply of temporary houses, including eight weeks in a Beijing sub-let while my husband was studying in China. Her brother, now two-and-a-half, has never moved.
Perhaps another impetus in her desire to relocate is that both of her best friends, Olivia and Ellie, have moved FAR away. The first to Montana two years ago and the second to California two weeks ago; perhaps she feels her time has come.
Or perhaps her zeal to move is connected with all of the other changes she’s dealing with; life changes; big, INDEPENDENT, life changes.
She can do a lot of things on her own now. For starters, over the summer she learned to ride a two-wheel bike, skipping right over training wheels. She also learned to swim. In August, we went on a fishing trip and she landed a fish all by herself. It was the biggest fish that week. Now that school is back in session, she realizes that she’s left behind her familiar preschools and entered the wider world of elementary school education. A world where teachers expect a lot more from their students.
Psychologically, I bet, there’s more to her inquiry than I’m able to decipher but I’m no psychologist and I only have five-and-a-half years experience with kids so my analytical skills are somewhat unrefined.
What I can interpret is that people tend to raise their children as themselves, in their own images, exposing their kids to the parents’ passions, lifestyles and interests. For my kids, this means living a life frequently on the go. I guess I’m like this because—between boarding schools, divorced parents and summers away—I spent a lot of my own childhood on the go. As an adult, I get restless when I’m stationary for too long. I look forward to taking trips like some people look forward to having a glass of wine at the end of a long day. To me, traveling, moving around, starting out someplace new is exciting.
For me, home is merely a place to store our stuff, the way a tent houses necessities when you’re camping.
Clearly, my daughter is camping in the same tent. She loves being active, exploring and going on adventures. Kindergarten has been enormously exciting for her but now we’re on week three…I guess she thinks it’s time to move on.
The photograph used in this post is attributed to popofatticus and has a Creative Commons attribution license.