I moved 14 different times in my childhood. I wasn't traumatized or damaged in anyway by the number of moves. I actually consider myself to be a more flexible and well rounded human being because of all the different communities and schools I was blessed to be a part of. Leaving any of us kids behind was never an option to my recollection. School staff, coaches, friends, neighbors, nor relatives ever offered to have me live with them in order to stay in a particular school. ( I actually think my parents would have found this pretty offensive!) In my childhood, family was the most important aspect, and it was respected and encouraged above all else.
When did society shift? How did I miss it? When did our children's relationships with friends and school become more important than their family unit? Or maybe I am missing something? I am not in any way suggesting moving in high school is an easy thing for any kid to do. I am however of the opinion that a CHILD (and until they are graduated from high school they are just that) is best off with their family. Maybe it hasn't shifted. Maybe we all place different things as important for our families and our children and Seth and my priorities are just different than others. I'm not saying other's choices and what they would do are wrong or offensive...they just are so different from my stand point it has caused me to pause and take a moment to reflect.
My children have been raised in one area most of their lives. There are so many blessings and benefits to this. They have grown up around their grandparents, and have had the same friends for years. They have learned to develop roots. The roots I value and believe to be most beneficial however are those with their immediate family. My older children not only need us and the few things we have left to teach them... the younger children need their time with their older siblings.
While there are things I LOVE about this small community in which we currently reside, I am aware there is a HUGE world out there. I have had the awesome experience of traveling this entire United States and have visited all but 8 states. I have traveled both sides of Canada, spent a year traveling Mexico and visited both England and Ireland. I have lived in large cities, small towns, and everything else in between. I have lived in and experienced amazing places. There is a whole wide world out there and it's o.k. to experience new things.
While I know the idea of moving as a teen is hard, I also think my kids may learn some valuable skills about flexibility, life changes, and how to best get support when things are difficult. While I do not set out to make things harder on my child, I really feel it does a disservice to try and protect them from every thing life throws their way. Change happens all the time. Families move for jobs and a myriad of other reasons.
I don't want others offering my kids a place away from home to stay and wont be open to any of the ones still in school doing so. They will be flying the nest soon enough! All but one plans to leave the state we currently reside in anyways(and he will graduate before any moving occurs), so a new residence prior to leaving for college may provide them with some adventures, a trial run in changing ones zip code, and a few last memories made with their family of origin. I'm excited for us and what possibilities lie ahead and what lessons we have left to learn.
I am lucky. My kids haven't thrown any major fits. No one has expressed anger or dismay at this point in the game. They have graciously said they would be willing to try a new area if it is the decision we come to. We have talked about how important being closer to where dad works is and how we can best support him as he supports our family and provides us with so much. We have discussed how we can sacrifice a few comforts such as remaining here to make his life a little nicer. This move for our family is about what we can do for our "bread winner". Wish us luck and say a prayer as we venture out into unknown territory!