The night we told L we were moving was a major moment for me. I didn't know it would be, until it was happening.
The ball&chain got the official word Friday night (Edited to note: a week or so before posting this). The kid likes to plan, and we like to have her be apart of the plan, so we told her hours after finding out. Knowing this was a possibility for the last few weeks, even if only a small possibility, we'd begun to talk about the inevitable move. If not for this situation we'd be moving on in a year or so. While I consider her the smartest damn 4 year old I know, she is 4. If she were older, she probably would have picked up on my (not so) subtle hints that something was brewing. Every once in awhile I would weave into conversation the topic of moving. The topic and conversation would be benign and would normally go a little like this.
Me: "L, what do you think? We will move someday - this isn't our forever home. It might be in a few months, maybe 6, maybe a year, maybe more. What do you think?"
Her: "I hope we move to San Diego."
Alas kid, San Diego is not in the cards, but at least I got her thinking about it.
The night we told her was this weird moment in time I don't know that I expected. As we told her about the exciting news, we were all smiles. We told her about Daddy's new job, that there would be less traveling, that we'd be moving like we did last time. We told her about Cleveland and all the fun things to do. We told her that she'd help us look for a new house, that this time she would come with us to find our next home. She took it all in, all smiles. Then there was this moment, where I may or may not have been near tears. It all flashed in front of me. I realized that this is it. For real. And it was going to happen fast. Even though I have been mentally preparing that it was likely to happen, it now very was real. I started to think more about the first time we did this. And how hard it was for her. This was going to be worse. My little girl would obviously survive, but this wasn't going to be all smiles for her.
I am near tears, and it's at this moment, this weird moment in time I realize I've stopped looking so excited and she is staring me down. Trying to figure me out. Trying to figure out how she is supposed to feel; how is she supposed to react.
I identify being a mother probably more so than I identify with any role I have in life - but how weird is this: at that very moment in time I felt like a mother so clearly it was as if I never felt like a mom, parent, protector - ever. This little person, looking to me. Depending on me, on us.
Have I mentioned, I'm not going to survive these kids?
I'm going to do my best to smile my way through this hott mess of a situation, because she's watching. She's looking to us on what steps to take and I'd like them to be the easiest steps.
In related news: this parenting thing is freaking hard.