When we told the kids a month ago that we'd be moving back to Alberta this summer there was so much excitement. The initial reaction for everyone was happy happy happy! It took Sergeant half of a second to process the fact that he'd be moving away from friends. It took Smarty the same but half a second after that he was talking about the friends he had left when we moved out here that he'd be able to connect with again. The girls were just excited that they would be moving back to the city they were born in, never mind the fact that I had to remind them that all of their toys would be moving with us. They didn't have to say goodbye to their stuffed animals!
Having moved around a lot when I was younger I know the bittersweet that comes with a relocation. Missing friends, learning to depend on your siblings, the incredible importance of that core family unit, adventure meeting new people, never really stop missing the people you used to play with all the time. I still think occasionally about the kids on the block of the PMQ's in Trenton when we were there. The ups and downs of elementary school friendships when we were in the BC lower mainland.
But everyone processes things in different ways and at different speeds. Monkey has been a literal monkey and has decided that she doesn't really want to be social anymore. I gave her a week of just mommy Monkey time and then I took her to a parent and child play group. She screamed and screamed and would not let go of my neck, kicking her feet when I tried to take her shoes off. I dropped her off at the casual care at the MFRC (Military and Family Resource Centre) and she pitched a fit like she did when she was a baby and didn't want to be left anywhere without mommy.
Girlie has been in need of more cuddles than before, more talking calmly to her when she starts crying faster at little things. Far more whining than she used to do as well.
The boys are dealing better, but they remember the move that brought us here. The girls wouldn't really. So this is essentially new to them. I know it helps that this is a good move for us as a family unit and we talk about it openly. The boys ask Dad about what he'll be doing on an army base compared to a navy one, we talk about what we are planning to stop and see on the drive out there. They keep adding to the list, and are getting excited about seeing so much of the country. They don't quite realize the scope of the distance, I don't think, but they will by the end of it. Some of the sights they want to take in will have to wait for other postings because, awesome as Ripley's Aquarium is, it's just too far out of the way for this trip!
There are days that I feel emotionally stretched with dealing with two very emotionally needing girls. Daddy can't go anywhere in the house without having someone on his lap or on his back for cuddles when he's home. He sat on a chair on the front porch yesterday for a total of 5 seconds before Monkey came out of the house and just climbed onto his lap. Just because.
Moving is really exciting for us. The adventure is what we signed on for. Even before the military we would talk and plan for living in as much of the country as we could. I love having the broader scope of life and experience and I'm really excited to share that with our children. They've put their toes in the Atlantic ocean! They've played in the red sand of PEI. They have driven along the Bay of Fundy, visited Peggy's Cove, driven through Cape Breton, and lived near those amazing ships that get sent out.
As a "westerner" those are pretty fantastic experiences. We've taken pictures, collected shells and pretty rocks, sat listening to the birds in the yard, watched the leaves turn gorgeous shades of red in the autumn. We've made some very special friendships, both in the service and outside of it, and this time will be remembered fondly. It was here that we cut our teeth on living the military life. But that will likely be another post.