LIFE IS ONE BIG PUZZLE
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Why did I write a book for kids about moving? Well, it has been my experience that when we have told the girls we were going to move they have been full of emotion. From excitement to sad, back to excitement and consumed with curiosity, back to a little worry then back to excitement. I think it’s a whole lot for them to take in! We just told the girls of this upcoming move 2 weeks ago and that is exactly what happened. They first felt sad about missing their friends, school, dance studio and all of the things that have made this place home. But then they got excited thinking about a new room, a new house, trying out new activities, and all of the new things. It was starting to become exciting and not scary. They have gone back and forth between realizing they will be sad to leave some things but excitement is starting to take over which is amazing! I’m sure it will be back and forth for a little bit. I’m always ready for the questions because there are a lot! Their minds are constantly at work and I love it.
I wanted to write this book to help my girls understand all of the good that would come from multiple moves and the feelings that may come with it, especially when I knew a move was on our horizon. If I’m being totally honest, it was kind of for me too. I needed a little help seeing the positive in it for my kids when I was kind of struggling with the idea. I knew if I was feeling this way, I couldn’t be the only one, I HOPED I wasn’t the only one. It’s actually been awesome to hear the girls refer to Katie Harlow from The Great Big Move: A Surprisingly Exciting Adventure when thinking about what is ahead! They even said, “This will be a great adventure just like Katie Harlow said!”
For a while it was hard for me to accept that my kiddos were not going to have a childhood like mine. I pretty much grew up in the same town, had a core group of friends from elementary school to high school and had Sunday dinner with my grandparents every weekend. It was a great way to grow up. Giving my kids something different than what I was used to is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. With knowing that our life is a transient one I have had to accept the fact that I really just never know that we will have one place to call their home base. Honestly though, who does really know that? Things can change at the drop of a hat whether you are ready for it or not! But still, sometimes I feel guilty about this.
With life being this way, I don’t want my girls always thinking “well we may not be here long.” I think it is important for them to treat every stop on their journey as if it is the only one, soaking up all it has to offer. Does this make it even harder to leave? Absolutely!! The way I see it that means time well spent, having things to miss is a sign that you really did enjoy that time to the fullest! Winnie the Pooh said it best “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” The bonds they form with people and places throughout these stops will be their home base. Instead of one solid place with one set of friends around them, I see them having a colorful puzzle made up of all of their different home bases. Without one of those puzzle pieces, the foundation would not be solid. There is a reason for each piece, which is why it fits into the next just as it is supposed to, and what a beautiful masterpiece they are left with! These home bases aren’t just places either, it’s the people they meet, the experiences they have in a particular place, and the family that surrounds them near or far.
Their roots will still dig deep but will stretch far and wide giving them an array of experiences that will help mold them into one amazing person, preparing them for this big, ever-changing world. I really think all of these stops may be preparing them for something great that will happen when they are grown. I hope it makes them resilient to change and able to accept it well. It is thinking in this way that has made each move feel a little easier, honestly this one is the easiest so far. And you know what? I actually really believe it now! I have chosen to learn from the past and I now know that if my perspective is different, I can have a much better experience. I am making the choice to make this a positive experience and not worry and stress over what I can’t control. With a conscious effort we will make the best out of every moment where we are and not let the thoughts of the unknown overpower the good I have right in front of me.
Now I know some people are able to relocate with no big deal as it has become part of their life and I commend you. You may read this and think, “my God girl get over it already!!” I get it!! My relocations were not in our “original plans” so it has taken me a second (years haha) to realize my path will be different and to see the good in it. I feel bad for the me that didn’t see all of this good years ago. Every moment is a teaching moment and we become a better version of ourselves within those. My kids and I have made our very best, lifelong friends from the most unexpected places! I can’t even imagine if we hadn’t met them or even think about missing out on some of the experiences we have had over the years. Each one has had a reason, and has earned a puzzle piece in my daughters’ childhood and my life as well. Sometimes I don’t see the reason until after the fact because, of course, hind sight is 20/20. I had amazing friends and family that helped open my eyes to all of this good that has come from it. Hearing the experiences of others, good and bad really, have been so helpful in allowing me to have this positive outlook and get to where I am today.
Whether your moves are prompted by a job relocation, promotion, military pcs, just because you want to, or any other reason that puts you in the midst of this and you need some encouragement just like I did, I hope I have been able to help you with that! You can still worry, be sad, excited, nervous, happy, overwhelmed, and everything in between! I am here to tell you though that the kids and you will be OK! And probably more than OK! You seriously just don’t know what is waiting for you on your new adventure! It might be surprising, it might be exciting and it really might just be the best one yet!! Don’t miss it, enjoy it all!!
I want to hear from you! What makes up your puzzle? Located under the 'Printables' page is a PDF you can print of a blank puzzle, let your kids fill it out and decorate it! This may help them see how every piece of their journey has come together to be something awesome! You can put it in a fun frame and they will always be reminded of what their home is made of! I’d love to see their creations! Be sure to comment below and let me know how they turned out!