Thursday, January 30, 2014

Moving as Seen Through the Eyes of a 4-Year-Old

Wendy from Charlotte, North Carolina, has moved around a lot, but she knows that a move with little children presents its own set of issues. Putting your possessions on a big truck and moving them to a different house: As adults, we know what a huge undertaking that is. To kids, it's almost too much to comprehend.

Here's a cute story from Wendy's family's move in Ohio:

When we relocated from Hubbard to Westerville, Ohio, we took the three kids with us to the closing, and the owners gracefully allowed us to walk through, so the kids could see where we were going to live.

Our youngest was 4, just two months from turning 5.  The house was in upheaval, just as our present home was, with packed boxes stacked everywhere.  Matt, then 7, asked where we were going to put "our" stuff. I explained to Matt and Robin, 4, that this family was moving to another home and taking all their stuff with them, so the house would be completely empty and ready for us to move in with our stuff. That all our boxes would go in a big truck and the truck would deliver it all safely to us.  My explanation was well thought out and executed, and I thought they really understood.

On moving-in day, we arrived later than the movers and they had already begun unloading the garage stuff into the driveway.  Robin said to her brother, "Look, Matt! They have a bike just like yours!"  She still hadn't understood!

Moral of the story, no matter how well we try to prepare them, young children just can't comprehend moving into a new home.

I can relate to this story, as I'm sure most of you can. When I was preparing to move from Cleveland to Virginia with our 4-year-old, he was visibly upset about the move until I reassured him that we were taking everything.  "Everything?" he asked. "Everything!" I emphasized. 

"Are we taking this wall?" he asked. 


If you like Diane's humorous take on moving, you'll love her book Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves.

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