Sometimes I worry about how frequently moving from city to city is affecting our kids. Next month my son will turn 14 and will have lived in 7 houses in his lifetime. My daughter often nonchalantly says things like, "Next time we move, I want a pink bedroom." as if moving is something that's inevitable. The question, "Where are you from?" is a difficult one for us and often involves a lengthy explanation where the person who asked the question ends up looking at us like we're crazy, or lying, or on the lam from the law.
I'm jealous of families who are able to raise their kids in one place, who have friends with kids that grow up with their kids and family nearby. I long to have history in a place and connections within a community when I look for a job. I would love to stay in one house long enough to see several seasons of fruit come from the trees we plant. I'm tired of starting over from scratch.
The tradeoff is that our kids have seen more of America and Canada than most kids. They've camped in National Parks along the west coast and travelled through half of the Canadian provinces. They've visited landmarks that most people only see in photos and explored numerous art galleries and museums. They've experienced different climates and cultures and landscapes and points of view. And along the way they made friends.
My son is not the kind of kid who seeks out social situations (maybe because he's worn out from his parents dragging him all over the continent). He prefers to hide out in his room and draw or read or play video games and talk to people (about video games) on the internet. This year though, after a rough start, he started to spread his wings and made a few good friends. He asked to go on the grade 8 trip and spent 4 days with his friends touring Quebec City. Among other end-of-the-year activities for his senior public (aka middle school) festivities he went to a Blue Jays game at Rogers Stadium and attended a formal dance aboard a party boat that sailed on Lake Ontario around Toronto. He's ended up experiencing parts of Canada the rest of us haven't even seen.
My daughter is the extroverted one. She made friends the very first day and has attended several birthday parties and playdates and sleepovers throughout the year. She made a BFF and they choreographed a dance to Taylor Swift's song Blank Space which they bravely performed for the talent show. Despite the difficult year the rest of us have had here she maintained a positive outlook and in doing so, she helped me to see the bright side too.