“Nobody Knows My Name Here”

Change is hard.

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It’s hard to move to a new house.

It’s hard to move to a new city.

It’s hard to move away from your friends.

It’s hard to transition from preschool to kindergarten.

And our 5-year-old did all four of these in literally a few days.

Thursday, he left the only house he has ever lived in. Friday, he was at camp with some of his best pals. Saturday, he spent the day with grandparents. Sunday he flew across the country. Monday, he settled into his new house. Tuesday, he started kindergarten.

That’s head-spinning, especially for a kid.

It has not been surprising that he has had some meltdowns and tantrums the past few nights as he processes all of these changes.

After one recent fit, he calmed down and snuggled quietly next to me.

“Daddy. Nobody knows my name here. The teachers keep asking me what my name is. I miss my friends.”

#Heartbreak

He spent the past two preschool years with the same kids and even the same teachers. His new school has lots of enrichment specialists – and even the best teachers need a few days to learn everyone’s name, especially teachers he may only see one a week.

As crushing as this was to hear, I was so proud of him. He could articulate the biggest change in his life – he went from someplace where everyone knew him to a totally new environment where they…don’t.

Familiarity is replaced with opportunity.

It will feel like home soon.

But it doesn’t yet.

And that’s scary.

 

 

Our Home Becomes A House

As I write these words, I’m sitting on the carpeted floor of my living room – the furniture removed – surrounded by filled boxes and empty walls.

We lived here. And our life was here.

That life is going to continue, but just in a different city.

We can talk more about that adventure later. But tonight all I can think about is what happened between these walls.

Our home has returned to being a house. Just as it was when we moved in over seven years ago – totally empty, but filled with the hope and promise of the future.

Back then, we had no kids; our first was on the way and would be born five days after we arrived here.

We took possession of a house and made it our home.

I’m sitting here looking around and smiling at the memories popping from every corner. I remember a kid’s birthday party where all the guests decorated cookies on a tablecloth spread around the kitchen floor. I remember my daughter’s first words (“Hi, Dada!”). I remember the Star Wars trilogy marathon with all our kids (and how we fast-forwarded most of the movie because it was a biiiiiiiiiit too scary). I remember all the times grilling my signature meal (turkey burgers, corn, sweet potato chips) while holding a strong cocktail. I remember dragging the kids on sleds around the backyard. I (mostly) remember all of our adults-only bounce-house parties. I remember walking to the subway station and I remember all the daycare pickups and I remember the sick kids and I remember the tears and the laughs and the joy.

Our family happened within these walls. We moved in as a married couple with

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a dog. We leave with three kids – and the dog. Everything else was here.

And now we are leaving.

But our home goes with us. The house stays behind for someone else to have a turn. And make memories. And host parties. And maybe raise a family if they want.

It’s a good house. It made for a great home.