Friday, April 15, 2016

Does Moving Make You Closer?

A lot of people have asked me the question, "Has your family grown closer since moving?"

Right after we moved I noticed my second born was experiencing a lot of trepidation when going new places. He experienced anxiety about new places, new people, and us leaving him for any amount of time. He'd never had this problem before. 

I myself was very distant - for at least a couple months. I didn't want to talk at night and when I did I cried a lot. I felt a whole range of emotions just coming off the roller coaster of having a baby, selling a house, and moving 2,000 miles away from everything.

My kids predictably took on the mood I was exhibiting and made frequent remarks such as, "I miss Michigan." or, "I miss our basement." and, "I miss our old church."

So, at first my response would have been that the move didn't make us grow closer. Initially this move drove a wedge, at least between my husband and me.

It's hard to be honest about this, because it feels stupid. It feels really stupid to admit that I let something like a wonderful job in an awesome new location effect my ability to be grateful, loving, and supportive. But, I totally did.

I specifically remember right after moving here someone saying to me, "Oh yeah! I'll bet it's been hard to move and to also be a cheerleader for your husband!" I nodded my head and inwardly thought, "What cheerleader?! I'm more like Debbie Downer!"

We're up in each other's business all the time these days. We had a two story house with a basement back in Michigan. If the kids were loud or ornery I could send them to another level of the house to sort things out. Here, we have a ranch. We're on the same floor of the house all.the.time.

It's been a blessing in disguise, though. It's given me the opportunity to really hone in on how my children are treating one another whereas before it was often out of my sight and hearing range. Now, my eyes and ears are constantly attuned.

We only recently found a babysitter and she's only come over once so far. So, when we go places the kids come with.

Being without all the other people we constantly surrounded ourselves with, being without multiple stories in a house, being without the schedule we'd built up we have naturally grown closer. We've had to talk through a lot of feelings. We have established new traditions, new ways of doing things, new normals and yes, it has brought us together.

Even the hard days - especially the hard days have helped. We've had to apologize, talk, work through, and support each other because in a sense we're all experiencing some or several losses and we want to be there for one another.

These are moments that we're never going to forget someday. We're going to look back on this and remember how the kids had sibling slumber parties, how we went to so many different new parks, the fires in our amazing fireplace, the day trips, the big tub that all the kids fit in together, and the family closeness.

This by-product of moving is something that I didn't anticipate. So many layers of our lives were broken down in the move that the matter-of-course outcome is that we're closer than we ever were before. 

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