My husband accepted a job at the family business (!), which means we are leaving the town we know and love and moving 200 miles away. I’ve lived in the greater Indianapolis area since I graduated from college and then with my husband since we got married 10 years ago. All three of our kids were born here.
The last six weeks have been a whirlwind of buying and selling a home, transferring paperwork related to our doctors offices here to new ones there, and talking with teachers at both schools about making the transition.
Most days, I deal with the upcoming change just fine because it feels right in my heart- we are going to my husband’s hometown, a place where my kids will have grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins in town. But some days are tough – we are on the cusp of a really big change! I’m trying to really enjoy all of the lasts and not look at the goodbyes AS goodbyes, but instead like “See you laters.”
It’s been tough though – it wasn’t easy walking out the doors of the place my daughter has attended her cheerleader class for two years. I left the library in tears when my baby and I headed out the door for the last music class we’ll attend. I’m wrapping up scheduled dinners with friends and we’ll soon attend a going away party where we are the guests of honor. It’s not at all easy to leave the places that I’ve visited weekly for several years knowing that I won’t be going back – at least not anytime soon.
Moving is hard, even when you are okay with it. And while I am eager to find my new normal, and start our latest (and hopefully greatest) chapter of this beautiful life, this move is still a hard pill to swallow.
Here is what I’ll miss most when we move.
Being Near My Friends
Even though I have a lot of friends who no longer live in Indiana, the Noblesville area is home to many people who are near and dear to me like my sister and closest friends. Some of these friends are girls I prank called people with as young teens, cheered with in high school, then visited colleges where we talked about how we’d miss each other if we chose to attend different schools. We jammed out to the Vitamin C song “Friends Forever” a zillion times. Some were with me as I moved from my hometown to Muncie, IN to attend college and on my 21st birthday at Ball State (all five times I celebrated it!)
These friends grabbed my ring finger when I got engaged, oooing and aaaing as they admired my newest bling and telling me they were so happy for John and I. They gave me tips while I planned a wedding, congratulated me with hugs and words of advice when I told them I was pregnant, and we talked about how we couldn’t wait to raise our kids together. These are women who showed up at my door with a meal when I brought that baby home from the hospital and let me complain when I was exhausted and trying to manage working full time while missing my newborn and longing to be a stay at home mom. These are people who listen to me when I share the struggles of raising a child who is affected by autism. These are women who love me unconditionally. It’s always been comforting knowing that my sister and these friends are nearby. I’ll miss them something fierce when I move, but even though they won’t be close in proximity anymore, I find comfort knowing they’re only a phone call or text away. Or I will just have to take a road trip to see them face to face!
Time with My Parents
Right now it takes my parents about two hours to drive to my house. After we move, it will be about a five and a half hour drive (with no stops) and a time change. We see my mom a lot (my parents are divorced) – she usually spends the night about once a month and sometimes she’ll stay for a couple days. We often take the kids on adventures like to the park or strawberry picking and she and I like to have a glass or two of wine together when the kids are asleep. I don’t drive back to my hometown where she and my dad live often, but we make it up there a few times a year and always for a couple days in the summer so the kids can swim at the lakes that I swam at when I was a girl. I love taking the kids to the places I loved as a kid! With the longer distance between us once I move, I know I won’t see my parents as often as I do now. You don’t exactly jump in the car and drive 5+ hours. I will miss my mom swinging down to see us on a whim for a few days at a time and the fun we have together watching HGTV. We are close-knit so this distance will be a challenge for us. We will have to learn to make specific plans to visit one another and make the most of every minute when we are together.
Dorothy nailed it, guys: There’s no place like home. Packing up this house is tough for me, and the tears flow freely each time I carefully take pictures off the wall, wrap them up in bubble wrap and place them in a box labeled “Fragile.” I don’t do well sorting through old toys and puzzles my daughter loved when she was three, realizing it’s time for them to go to another house where they will be used and loved. It’s hard seeing my house stripped of us, one that’s heard our laughter and tears and hosted our dance parties. One we’ve ran circles around as we played duck, duck, goose and hid in during some intense games of hide and seek. It’s been home to us during times of celebration and during the the loss of three grandparents. It’s been a place where friends have come for birthday parties and our kids have opened presents with joy as I say to my husband, “How is he/she already two (three, four, five, six)?” It’s been home and alive with holiday spirit each Christmas as we left Santa cookies and milk, the kids giddy and asking, “How will Santa fit down the chimney, Mommy?” and “We don’t have any carrots for the reindeer!”
We’ve lived in this house for six years – it’s the only home my three kids know and I’ve been doing what I can do help prepare kids for a move. We brought these babies home from the hospital, driving 40 MPH down the highway as cars passed us, then walked into this home with the renewed sense of what is really important in life — love and family. We welcomed two newborn babies to this home, their nurseries thoughtfully decorated with love, the freshly washed sheets atop their mattresses. We carried these babies into their rooms where photographs of their ultrasound pictures were framed and placed just so on their dressers when were only able to imagine what their faces would look like and who they would be.
My babies have felt green grass with uncertainty for the first time while sitting in the shade of the tree in our backyard. Kids have had water balloon fights and put on gymnastics shows on balmy summer evenings, cicadas chirping, asking for popsicles that melt down their chins and hands before they can finish them. We’ve played tag, Red Light Green Light and Mother May I? out back more times than I could begin to imagine. We’ve hit baseballs and flown kites. My two oldest kids have learned how to ride bikes on the cracked sidewalk in front of our home shaky at first, “Look mom! Look dad! I can do it!”
We’ve sent two kids off to school, with me standing in the garage waving goodbye, tears flowing down my cheeks and dripping onto my shirt, praying that they would find kind friends and make good choices — and that I had done a good job raising them (so far).
I will miss this house and the joys I’ve experienced as a mom with my family here. I am so thankful we’ve created so many memories within its walls.
If I run into someone at the store, I often have to stop and think about how I know him or her. Are they from my hometown? Did we have a class together or hang at a fraternity at Ball State? Did they attend preschool with my daughter? Do we know them from church? Was their son on my son’s baseball team? As your kids get involved in more activities, you really expand your circle. While I am not close with many of these people, I am someone who finds comfort in familiarity – I like walking into a restaurant and seeing people we know. I love walking into the school and having the front desk staff greet me by name and tell me they say one of my children earlier headed to gym class or lunch. It’s fun to go to baseball practice and sit with other parents and cheer on one another’s kids. It feels good to take my kids to the park and see families who high five my kids and know them by name. I love taking my youngest to the library each week where I see the same moms and other toddlers I’ve known for years. I love that there is a festival or parade for every event in downtown Noblesville, complete with live music and vendors. Moving is an emotional experience, it’s much more than packing up boxes.
I live in a pretty wonderful neighborhood – it’s a place where everybody knows your name. Oh wait, that’s Cheers! Well my neighborhood is kind of like that too, minus Woody Harrelson, Kirstie Alley and Ted Danson. I know most of the families that live in this neighborhood – their kids are in my kids’ classes at school or play on the same baseball league or we attend the same church. Our neighborhood is full of really genuine people – those who look out for each other, mowing their neighbors yards when they are away, shoveling sidewalks and pulling in trash bins. The neighborhood is alive with children riding bikes around the block, catching lightening bugs, having nerf gun wars and swimming in the neighborhood pool. It’s a place where the kids pull out their card tables and make handwritten signs offering glasses of lemonade for 50 cents. It’s a place where the kind lady down the street brings you extra fruit and vegetables from her garden and talks to your kids about growing cucumbers and broccoli. It’s where my two oldest kids both caught their first fish while at the neighborhood pond, shrieking with glee as they struggled to reel in the blue gill. It’s a place that reminds of the neighborhood’s the kids in the 80’s and 90’s grew up in, similar to the way I grew up. It’s one that gives you a sense of security and reminds you that there are still a lot of GOOD people in this world.
The Kids’ Elementary School
My kids are finishing up Kindergarten and 1st grade – that is so crazy to type out! It’s hard to believe another year has flown by and it’s always an emotional time for me as my kids finish Kindergarten. That year in particular just seems like one where the kids change so much from start to finish. My daughter has learned to tie her shoes, how to read, shown she’s a good friend and lost two teeth. It’s been pretty amazing seeing her grow up this year, but it helped to send her to a school we love. The kids’ elementary school is amazing! We love the teachers and other staff and volunteers who make it a great place to be. I am so thankful our kids were able to attend this school, this REALLY great place where we send them each day and know they are safe and loved. I think the school is so special to me because my oldest has attended it since 2013 (other than approximately one year of time when the program he needed was at a different school). He’s seen the same speech therapist for nearly five years and he’s only in 1st grade! It’s hard on my Mama Bear heart to have the kids leave this school they love, especially my oldest because he doesn’t do well with change. His teacher and full time aid are setting the bar high for his future teachers! I will miss sending the kids to a school where I know they will be taught and loved by educators who have a passion for what they do.
There are SO many things I will miss when we move away from Noblesville, and those things make this relocation difficult for me. My heart is heavy while I think about leaving – it’s bittersweet like so many changes in life. I’m eager and very thankful for the new, wonderful opportunity that awaits us. I’m excited to help the kids have a fun summer full of bike rides and squirt gun fights and exploring our new town. We will join a church and plan to immerse them in activities so they can meet friends as they feel adjusted and ready. We bought a home in a neighborhood that reminds us a lot of the one we are leaving and we hope it’s just as wonderful. The kids will attend a brand new elementary school that opens this fall, one that was designed with outside the box learning in mind. I know my kids will get into a groove in our new town and thrive.
Moving to a different house in a new town is not an easy transition for anyone, no matter your age or the circumstances. However, I’m confident that as long as I have my family with me, I will feel at home wherever I live. It’s all about the people you are with, not where you are. Goodbye, Noblesville! You and your people will always hold a special place in my heart.
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Tags: life changes