Moving

When I was a child my family moved several times. We moved twice before I was aged 2. I have no memory of either of those experiences. I faintly recall the third move, when I was 4, and it was an exciting time. I don’t recall having much attachment to our single story home on a quiet street near the tiny town centre of Aldergrove, at the edge of Vancouver’s suburbs. A few memories is it, not much feeling.

Subsequent moves (at age 8 and 13 respectively) were similar in tone. I recall a bit of wistfulness about the last move, as it coincided with a whole bunch of other changes (starting high school, siblings moving out, etc.).

My spouse is different entirely. she grew up in the Okanagan, and only moved once. Most of her childhood was spent anchored to the same large house. But she’s moved plenty as an adult, and so has learned the routine of attaching to new places and letting go of the old. Her lip quivers more than mine does with each move; in fact, when we move, I’m usually all like “valderah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha” while she’s giving longing backward glances through both the iPhoto album and the 1 ton truck mirror…

We’ve lived here for 7 years as of March this year. We’re considering our first move as a family, because of career directions/stages, financial imperatives, and the fact that our daughter is getting bigger and more autonomous (i.e., we’re altogether too big and busy for sharing a single bathroom, or at least it feels that way). Our girl is 6 and is expressing deep resistance to the idea of moving, despite assurances that we’re trying to stay in the same neighborhood, keep her at the same school, and perhaps even hang on to the current place and rent it out (so we could move back at any time on two months’ notice if need be). But she’s still in tears every time I bring it up.

I’ve read some of the “sensitive child” literature (here), and I get it. The girl exhibits many attributes that fit this paradigm. But I’m wondering if any other parents have faced this particular challenge, sensitive child or not? I’m certain we’ll move within two years, as any one of our three reasons noted above will explode into sharp relief by then. Hence we’re going to have to deal directly with our daughter’s sensitivity/resistance to change. I’m just curious about suggestions about how to do this delicately? I’ve been trying to remind her that a move is exciting, and she’ll get a bigger room that she gets to plan, design, and decorate anew. And an extra bathroom. Possibly insuite laundry, Still, tears.