Sweet Home Alabama…

We put the cart before the horse on this one…

We started saying goodbye to things before we really explained what’s going on. The dinnermesa is moving out of Texas and headed toward Alabama. There’s a lot of different reasons why, but I’ll just say, it’s something that we felt was best for our family and something that God was calling us to do. It sure makes this decision make a lot more sense now that we see how it was going to pan out.

It’s been almost 3 years since we came home as a family from Colombia. I talked to my oldest daughter tonight, and she told me that this would be the fourth time she’s moved in her 9-year-old life. I told her it was my fourth time to move in my 35-year-old life. Unlike her, I was much more the captain of my destiny than she was (even with my parents at the helm). She was put in a car a couple of times, and everything she knew changed… with no parents at the helm.

When we told the kids it might happen, we told them that no matter if they wanted to stay in Texas (two of them) or move to Alabama (two of them) (one undecided), we needed to pray for God’s will. If it was His will, we prayed for open doors. If it was not His will, we prayed that He shut those doors clearly. We also prayed that our kids who still have a little of South America in them would learn to stop calling it “Halabama.”

After about two months of slowly developing situations, the decision was made, and announced. It was a mixed bag. Some tears and some fist pumps (a new Americanism we’ve picked up this past year).

Then ramifications of the move started coming in like waves with highs and lows.

“So, we will get a new house?” “Yay!”

“So, we’ll loose our teachers, school, and friends?” “Awe!”

“So, we’ll get new teachers, school, and friends?” “Yay!”

“So, we are moving away from grandparents, aunts and uncles?” “Awe!”

“Since Alabama has a lot more trees, hide and seek will be a lot more fun.” “Yay!”

I was a little worried that for some of them, this would look like another crazy, life-changing transition in a long line of transitions in their lives, so we talked through the things that wouldn’t change.

  1. Mom and Dad are Mom and Dad forever. That’s not going to stop, and we will be going with you.
  2. The dogs are coming with us too. (I didn’t think this was a big deal, but that was one of their biggest concerns when we discussed the move)
  3. Our cars are coming with us too.
  4. We will have the same clothes, toys, and furniture. It is also coming with us.
  5. No matter what we face, we face it as a family.
  6. Mom and Dad will still be taking care of the family like we have always done. You don’t have to be an adult. You can be a kid and just be along for the ride.

I don’t know if it hasn’t hit some of them yet, but they are taking it like champs. Our kids’ greatest strength/problem is they transition really fast (all of them). If it happened 15 minutes ago, it is ancient history, and we are on to something else (maybe that’s why they relate so well to the dogs – they are the same way). So we have sober moments in 15-minute bursts, and then we start thinking about all the fun stuff or whatever we were doing before the moment struck.

Aside from packing up stuff to stage our house for selling (which was under contract after 20 hours of being on the market), our lives have been minimally disrupted by the transition. I’m sure when we are hugging family goodbye at the airport, it will get a lot more real, for kids and adults alike. We are about two weeks out from that.

I’m hoping that this can be one of the last transients I personally throw at them, but if they learn that in this world, the things that are constant are God and, to a lesser extent, family, then I guess that’s a hard but good lesson.

I just hope I’m OK at this new job! To quote the movie “Braveheart”, “We didn’t get all dressed up for nothin’.” I’ll let you know in a month or so!

At the dinnermesa,

Ty

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