When Nate and I first got married, we talked about moving. Not immediately, more of a “what if” type conversation, to discuss areas/cities that we’d like to try out. I was game for anything, I said, as long as it fit a few criteria. Then I laid out my rules as follows.
1. It had to be a state with a coastline.
2. It had to be within an hour of a major city.
3. No Canada.
Simple enough to follow, I thought. I was willing to bend my coastline rule for a cool city like Denver, or Chicago, or even Pittsburgh.
How I came to be talked into a move to a landlocked CanadianÂ city less than half the size of Worcester,Â I will never quite understand.
Well, that’s not true. I know how. We took a hard look at our options and determined that a move here to Edmonton (however reluctant I was at the outset, and I was reluctant. I’m talking tears on tears. But I was also newly postpartum, so there’s that...) Â would be a good move in the long run. And it has, it really has.Â Nate’s job has been such a good fit, and he enjoys it, and is just excited to go to work every day. That is no small thing.
We’ve also done well here personally. We rent a nice little house, in a nice little neighborhood. The girls ride bikes with the neighbors, and I sip coffee and chatÂ with the other mums at the bus stop every morning, and Nate grills out on the deck while making small talk over the fence. We’ve had two more babies here, and I mean right here in our house. That’s amazing. In summer, we garden, we explore the river valley. In winter, we (try to) embrace the cold, we visit museums, we go to the library.
But we never meant to stay here. Not for always.
And so last fall, when Nate was approached with an opportunity to bring us back East, we gave it some serious consideration. Was the job a good fit? Was the city a good fit? Could we do that to the kids, could we start over ourselves?
Could we do the whole moving and settling in process all over again,Â with twice as many kids, andÂ this time in French?!!?!?
BecauseÂ this move? It keeps us in Canada, but brings us to a new province- Quebec. More specifically, Quebec City.
After many months of thought, and discussion, we did finally decide that yes. This is the right move for us, and this is the right time. We’ll be closer to many family members, we’ll be able to buy a house, we’ll really be able to settle in and put down some roots.
But we didn’t want to tell the kids yet. Time passes so slowly for kids, we didn’t want them to be worrying for months beforehand. However, we also didn’t want to be pulling the rug out from under them as soon as the school year ended. I really wasn’t sure when was the right time to tell them. We mentioned it to the girls’ teachers, we told family, we told a few friends, all with the caveat “we haven’t told the kids yet, but…”
Then this past week, Fiona had her final meeting with her Sparks unit. She was going on and on about how excited she was to move up to Brownies next year, and how glad she was that two of her leaders would be returning, and how sad she was that one leader wasn’t going to be joining them in the fall. I realized that it was time, that I needed to give her the chance to say her goodbyes, that she needed to know that she was the one whoÂ wouldn’t be returning in the fall.
I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about telling them. I know that I am probably over-thinking it, and that they’ll adjust faster than Nate and I will, and in time everything will be wonderful. But at the same time- apprehensive. I started looking up ways toÂ tell kids about a move (and thanks, Google, but no I did not mean to search “how to tell kids about a movie”), and decided that today was the day. We sat them all down at the kitchen table, I handed out crayons and Canada andÂ Quebec-themed coloring pages, and we began a chat.
“Hey girls,” we began. “Do you remember how we used to live somewhere else before we lived here?”
(Of course they don’t, Fiona had just turned 2 when we moved here, and Violet was only 6 months. But we had to start the conversation somewhere.)
“Girls, what would you think if we lived in another different house?”
Violet shrugged, Bianca threw a crayon on the floor, Mikey stuffedÂ a handful of puffs into his mouth, and Fiona said, “Will we bring our TV? And the XboxOne and the WiiU?”
And we all sat there and colored for a while, and Nate and I tried to highlight positives, and make it exciting,Â and not dwell on negatives like how much we’ll miss our friends, or how different it willÂ be to not speak the language. We sat, and we colored, and we let the news simmer.
I know that it will be difficult. I’m sure that there will be tears. But I also know that we’re doing this as a family, and that itÂ willÂ be the start of a great new exciting adventure.
Mon franÃ§ais est mauvais, mais je vais apprendre. Stay tuned…