Saturday, March 02, 2013

Change is Hard

I tend to be a fairly sentimental person. I find it hard to throw away notes my students wrote to me, art from my daughters, tickets from theater performances, and Christmas letters from friends and family. That's not always a good thing. Our house is awfully full of stuff. But, luckily, most of that stuff is pretty small.

Today we (my daughters, my husband, and I) spent the day at my parents' house. This isn't uncommon. They live about half an hour from us and our girls are often there even if we aren't. The unusual part was when we left. We drove away knowing that it's very possible that was the last time we ever visit that house.

My parents have bought a motor home and are about to embark on a long-time dream. They are selling almost everything they own next week (thanks to a company that does these things). They've put a few things in storage for a future time when they feel they are too old to be driving around the country in a motor home. Some stuff has been shipped to my sister in San Francisco and my minivan has made trips for the past few weekends bringing stuff back to our house. Starting Monday my parents will live in their motor home.

I can't just tuck this house away in a keepsake box in my closet.

My parents have lived in this house since 1984. That's the longest either of them have lived in any home. At one point or another I lived in every one of its four bedrooms. I learned to play the piano in that house. Inside the hall closet door are the markings showing mine and my sister's heights over the years. And now those for my daughters as well. There is only one other family on that cul-de-sac that has lived there longer than my parents.

My daughters cried as we drove home. They don't like things to change. They're strong and spending spring break traveling with Grandma and Bobo in the motor home will do wonders for their adjustment period. I tried to talk with them about it as we drove. To acknowledge their sadness while reminding them of their excitement about future plans. I think that would have been more effective if I hadn't been crying.

Change is hard. When you are the one advocating for or planning the change it is different. When change is out of your control it is challenging. I'm not against this change. It's just hard to adjust.


Jill Fisch said...

My parents lived in a RV for several years including a couple of years right after my mom had a stroke. They now have a small RV and live in a park model (kind of a planted RV with plumbing etc. in an RV park). They love traveling but they are getting older and are doing less of it. My dad had a blog for the first few years that helped them keep in touch with all of the people they met on the road. They still travel in the small RV but not year round like they used to. Now they "winter" in Florida and travel in the summer. It is nice when they come out to see us because they feel like they can go home each night. I worried a lot about it at first but they loved so I soon stopped worrying. You are right though -- change is hard. I think the hardest thing for me was that the travel signaled that they were officially older and retired. I had to adjust to that life stage.

Unknown said...

I just stumbled onto your blog from a link on Pinterest. I've read a few random posts of yours and lover everything I've read so far! I'm reasonably sure we teach in the same large, suburban district that is so large it's broken into clusters...I'm also in a Title I school. I'm currently a reading resource teacher but I'm moving back to Kinder next year (I taught K for 4 years, then 1st for 5 before 2 years as a resource teacher). Anyway, this post is the one that sold me on adding your blog to my Feedly...why you ask? My parents also live in a Motorhome! They have a house, but they mostly live in their RV. We travel together in the summer and I recently bought my own - a small camper van - so I wouldn't have to rent! I can't wait to read the rest of your blog!

Jenny said...

I am astounded at how many people tell me about family and friends with RVs (either living in them or using them for vacations). It makes this whole thing seem slightly less insane!

Melissa, I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to chat to hear about your experience at K, 1, and resource.