I’m finding out that generally things don’t turn out the way you’d expect.
I was 100% sure my son (T, aged 7), wouldn’t cope at all with the idea of moving. T’s never been good with change and he gets very attached to people, and things… He won’t throw anything away – whether it’s broken or completely trashed – I’ll find it stuffed in a drawer for safekeeping. He even clung to our old fridge when it had to be replaced because he couldn’t bear to see it go. So I thought he’d be devastated when we told him he’ll be leaving all his buddies, his home and everything he knows in a few short months.
But a few days before we broke the news, he found out that one of his mates is moving to Melbourne in August. He was really upset that A was going and made up his mind then and there that “we should move too”. So when we broke the news, he was fine.
“Of course, we’re moving,” he said. “A’s moving too.” He thought for a minute. “And we’re getting a trampoline, right?” Alrighty then!
On the other hand, my daughter (H, aged 9), was almost inconsolable. Her best friend may (or may not!) be leaving in two year’s time, so that was the timeframe she had in her head. We should be staying here until her friend goes and that’s that.
“It’s not fair,” she cried, “I love my friends, my teacher…” Her words were almost verbatim from my book.
We spent a long, emotional night, talking everything through. H is a very mature little girl and she was trying really hard to be brave but she was in free-fall. So how could we give her back some control? Make her feel empowered, like she has a say in this life-changing decision? The only ace we had was the leaving date. It felt dreadful using a date as a bargaining chip but when it became her choice of a quick getaway after Term 2 or stay until the end of Term 3, she seemed a teeny bit happier.
She chose the end of Term 3 and hey, if giving her a few extra months here is what she needs to adjust, then that’s fine by me.
Because I know exactly how she feels.