Saying Goodbye

I moved a lot growing up. I used to recite the list, like a song, in chronological order. Spain, South Dakota, Washington state, Alaska, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Barcelona, … and that didn’t count summers. Or different cities or apartments in each location. People would ask what it was like to move that often and I would shrug. They’d ask me if I liked it and I’d say sure. In college I realized hundreds of ways it had been good for me. Recently, for good or for bad, I realized it has made it easier for me to get over goodbyes. It’s not any easier for me to say goodbye than it is for the next person, and I’ve been known to leave a party or even skip town without saying goodbye, but I think it’s easier for me to move on once I’ve left. If I’m not going back soon, I don’t miss it. (If I know I’m going back, I miss it with a passion.)

I remember once in sixth grade my best friend was crying at recess with her cousin. I asked the teacher why and she told me that my friend was crying because her cousin was leaving. I waited until I got home and asked my mom why my friend was crying because her cousin was leaving. My mom explained that my friend would be sad when her cousin left, that she would miss her. She explained that I had moved a lot so it was normal to me, and that in all my moves, my family had moved with me, so the people I cared about had been with me, but that my friend had never moved and she was scared that her cousin was moving. I remember it being quite a new idea. But Mom did a really good job of explaining it. (I haven’t done it justice here!)

I heard something on NPR the other day that said well over half of all children that move have behaviour problems. They must not have moved as often or they must not have had such supportive parents!

That said, I don’t mind moving at all, but I see no reason to move myself.