So last week I broke down during Bible Study and questioned what in the world we’re doing, uprooting and moving and all that.
This week I held it in a lot better, but I did leak a little. And it wasn’t really even for me or about me. It was for and about Katie.
You see, I’m doing a pretty good job of stuffing my feelings most of the time and I guess I’m sort of trying to teach my kids to do the same. I had to leave Bible Study about ten minutes early today so I could take Katie & Millie to meet friends at the zoo since I was going with the 6th grade class on their field trip to a Mexican restaurant (yes, I live to serve that way). As I got up in my group to leave I gave an awkward, “Well, it was really nice to know you all!” Yes, it was just as weird as it sounds here. No tears, just a kind of chuckle as I exited stage left.
I then went to pick up the girls. They didn’t realize I was going to be removing them ten minutes early. They hadn’t had time for proper closure. As they finished gluing the last things on the project they were working on it hit Katie that she was seeing these teachers and kids for probably the last time. I could hear the catch in her throat. She gave hugs, said good-byes and thank yous, and made her own stage exit, keeping her smile pasted on the entire time. We left and I stopped her for a second and asked her how she was doing. I could see the grief pass over her eyes for just a moment and she buried her head in me, for just a moment. She was silent. The moment passed. We continued on toward the van.
I dropped them off at the zoo and on my way back to the school really considered what just took place in my 9yo’s heart. She felt the pain and she stuffed it. And I let her do it.
And I’m sorry I did.
We have two weeks left in St. Louis and these moments are going to pick up the pace more and more. I want to be intentional about letting them happen. I want to encourage my girls to feel.
One year after we moved to St. Louis I made this observation about people leaving. Had we left St. Louis that year, or even in the first 3-4 years we lived here, this move probably wouldn’t sting the way it does right now. And as hard as this is, I’m glad it does. We made friends. We made connections. We did what we needed to do to be human and in community and involved in the lives of people.
It’s hard right now, but it’s right. And I need to make for darn sure my kids know. And I will. Just as soon as I stop crying.
6 thoughts on “Fridays are for crying, apparently”
making the connections and being human is so necessary…yet painful when we have to move. kudos for helping your girls learn to feel the sadness as well. i’ve always hatted the wrenching of lost (day-to-day) relationships that go along with moving. ugh! one of the delights of heaven will be no moves! (#2–no packing:) m
We just moved across the country in October. My kids are younger than yours, but one thing I did was make a point to go back and visit our old place and see friends about 6 months after we moved. I think it really helped my oldest (5) to see his friends and reconnect with them. I know they will lose touch, but I didn’t want it to be in a “we moved and I never saw them again” type of way. We may only make yearly visits, but even that I think helps maintain enough. It’s still sad, sadder in some ways, but I think it helps.
I also think it’s hard with kids because there is an adrenaline to moving that can sometimes shove aside the sad feelings a bit, even when you aren’t meaning to, because it is exciting, even though it’s a mix of a good and bad way.
As a side note, I did mention to him that now we had moved if we moved somewhere else we had new friends to miss. Then I asked him, “who would we miss?” He only thought for a second then said, “Daddy.” Hahaha. I was like, we’d never move away and leave Daddy behind! (We were traveling without him, so I suppose maybe that’s why it occurred to him!)
Meghan, I applaud your honesty and the feeling you encourage in your girls. Being in community is both hard and a true blessing, and it hurts to leave what we pour our hearts into. Praying for you all in this season of change.
Well said, Megan. You know I am a “heart-on-her-sleeve” kind of girl. It’s painful, it’s messy, but in the end our tears are witness to the fact that we have loved someone. And like you said that is much better than loneliness. It’s like the children’s song says, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” I am looking forward to the day when we can all live together (both silver and gold friends) with no more crying or pain.
Hard stuff, Megan, and so especially hard when you have to watch your kids grieve as well. I guess for them St. Louis has been a bigger part of their whole earthly life so far than it has been for you – AND they don’t have that adult sense of perspective to be able to see it in perspective of the rest of their lives.
I didn’t even know you were moving on (I’ve just been doing catch up here on your blog over the past few nights). Will be thinking of you all and praying too.
Megan: I can’t believe you are moving! Congrats. This is a really great post too. I will have to tell Heidi about your move and I guess we won’t be running into you at the pool this summer! Anyway, have a safe and happy move.