I grew up as the daughter of a Naval officer. I have never, in my life, lived somewhere longer than 6 years. We would typically move every 2-4 years, finally settling once my father retired from the Navy when I was 12. I then went to college at 18 for 4 years in one location, and medical school for an additional 4 years in a different location. Mr. Whoo's childhood moves were similar. Since Mr. Whoo and I have been together, we haven't stayed in one place more than 4 years. To be quite honest, I really disliked moving so much. Starting over got more and more difficult each time we had to make a move. The leaving of friends, the packing, the unpacking (torture), the need to learn everything about a new area wore thinner and thinner with each new beginning. Once I finished residency, we agreed to make a concentrated effort to find a place to "put down roots." We thought we had found that in our current location, and we were so excited to settle in and become fully immersed in the community.
Then, slowly, it became obvious that my job was not as lifestyle friendly as it had promised. Instead of a 1 out of 3 call, I became a default solo practice Ob/Gyn physician (something that I never, ever wanted to be). In the last 3 years, not much has improved. I have managed to eke out 2 weekends off call every month, but it seems this is all the leeway with lifestyle that I am going to get. Our family life is severely affected by my call schedule, and I always feel like I have to have one foot ready to run out the door. It is time for a change, and, for us, that means moving....again.
Of course, all of the joy that comes with moving is expanded with small children, especially in the arena of finding reliable child care. Then I worry about putting them through a move and how it will affect them emotionally. For Bean, I am not so concerned, as he is small yet and likely won't remember the change. For CindyLou, this move is going to be hard. This is the only home that she knows. She loves her house, her play set, her room, her teachers, and her friends. I remember all too well the hurt of having to leave my friends and everything that I had known behind for the unfamiliar. Most of all, we want to have a stable place where our family can grow and thrive. As long as I am on call as much as I am, we will never be able to pursue extra curricular activities for the children, and I really can't bear the thought of not making it to baseball games and/or dance recitals.
Logically, I know that as long as we are together, we are home. A house and a town are just places, but a family is your true home. I just wanted to give my children the opportunity to graduate high school in the same place that they went to kindergarten. It is this little fantasy that I have entertained ever since I was a girl, having to move time after time. I am starting to worry that my childhood and schooling has triggered some kind of wanderlust, set to go off every 4 years or so! I never pegged medicine as a nomadic career, but I am taking careful steps to try to make this next move our last one for a very long time. How do you ease the transition of a move on kids that are old enough to understand?