We've spent years trying to move away. We knew when our son was still an infant that we wanted to leave once my husband was no longer active duty. The Air Force sent us here in the days after September 11th. Coming from the North East, the South has been a bit of a culture shock in oh so many ways for these liberal Jews. Oddly, we found we liked it here. While the political climate and religious climate were very different from what we knew, the people were nice and the lifestyle was far more laid back than what we were used to. We grew to love this place.
When I spent a month back "home" during my husband's first deployment when the twins were toddlers, I realized it was no longer the place I needed to be. Nearly the entire time I was there, I longed to come back. I longed for my friends here, for my volunteer activities, for our day-to-day activities, for our zoo, our parks, our home.
In the past few years, things here have changed. His venture into the civilian life left my husband horribly frustrated with the jobs he held. The political climate is far more volatile than ever. More and more strip malls pop up left and right. As a result, traffic is worse than ever. Overall, people still smile and hold doors, but the racism and sexism and intolerance in general are no longer under the surface. More people than ever here wear their hatred as a badge of honor.
All that made us decide we needed to leave. And so, we are. Our house has sold. A new one is purchased. Closing dates are set. Boxes are packed.
We should be insanely excited to be moving on; everything we've worked for, hoped for, longed for, is happening. After eight months apart, our family will be together again; this time, for good. We'll have a home that fits us all. My husband now works a job he actually likes.
We absolutely are looking forward to all that. Yet, at the same time, I listen as my daughters lament the fact that they can't pick a best friend among their top circle of friends because they're all "so cool," and I wince to think of my girls leaving them all behind. My friends leave a party and say, "In case I don't see you before then, I hope you have an easy move." On the swings, the six-year-old little girl who adores my toddler pushes her and I wonder,"How old will the baby be when they see each other again?" My son tells me his plans for a friend's birthday gift only to realize that's a party we won't be here to attend.
All this is another post for another day, but it's just hitting me now. It's been creeping in in bits and pieces, but, with moving day approaching, I'm more and more aware of it. As a child, I lived in the same house where four generations of my family lived. I never moved away until I went to college and then got married. Sure we've moved around a bit since then, but not with children. We moved into this house a week before our twins were born and we've been here ever since. This is a whole new experience for all of us. At this point, it's one of those experiences I prefer, overall, not to think too deeply about (until, of course, I sit down and blog about it). As the date moves closer, though, I find I don't have the luxury of ignorance (or at least avoidance).