Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pack up and move out.

First grade was the worst grade for me but also the best, and what happened that year has come to shape my life, and my kids' lives, in a way. When I was in first grade my family moved. I know a lot of kids get moved around, and this may come off as whining, but it was hard for me, so there. My family moved first into a rental house in our town, Groton, MA. The house had its upsides, it was near the playground and there was a trap door in the floor (although it was nailed shut it excited my imagination). But it felt awkward, even to little 6 year old Ali, because I knew the house wasn't ours and that we wouldn't be staying long. And we didn't.

We left Massechusettes for Minnesota on a rainy Halloween night. Some days later we arrived in Minnesota, at our new rental home. I hated that house. When I think about it, my first thought is always of how the squirrels chewed up and ruined our Christmas lights. A cheery memory, no? It was a bleak winter. There was very little snow that year, so the naked trees on the flat plains of Minnesota seemed extra grey and dreary. Everything we left behind in Groton seemed so rosy in my memory, the yard the house, the people... I started to hate Minnesota. It took me years to get over that. 

First grade itself was a challenge. I was a very shy and self-concious child, and I had not particularly enjoyed kindergarten, which had only been a half-day, so first grade would likely have been hard no matter what. But changing schools, and states, mid-way into the year, adjusting to a new ciriculumn (my old school had done well in teaching math, but I was behind in reading when I started school in Minnesota), and to taking the bus for the first time surly compounded my stress.  But on the positive side, I was lucky to have a fabulous first grade teacher. And I did make friends. My family made a lasting relationship with the family of a girl in my class, and that lead to some really fun times for years to come.

But we didn't stick around. After the school year was out we moved again to the house where my parents live still. The house where I fell in love with the great state of Minnesota. The house I now live only 3 miles away from. And as hard as it was, being brought to Minnesota ended up being one of best things that happened to me. I love it here. But the difficulty of the journey affected me as well.  I have vowed  to never, ever, if I can possibly help it, move my children while they are in school. I place a high value on stability and routine (that might be the OCD talking though). Some people can move a hundred times and it does't phase them. But I think I'll stay put and keep my traveling to vacations and conferences.

10 comments:

  1. Of all the seasons to move from Massachusetts to Minnesota, I'd have to say the cusp of winter must be the worst. I just audibly sighed for little Ali.

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  2. I know the feeling. May marked the end of my 3rd year in Minnesota. It has not been the easiest climate to adjust to. Even still, 3 years later, I am longing for the milder Ohio climate.

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    1. Now that I'm used to it, I'd have a hard time with someplace that didn't get cold enough to skate outside for a few months, but if you don't skate or ice fish, I don't know if it's worth putting up with.

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  3. I'm with you - I hate major change. We moved from VA to MA in the middle of a blizzard - but I was 36 so I had to suck it up. My kids were all under 4yrs, but they handled it just fine. Now looking at moving back, possibly a month or two into my oldest girl's 1st grade year has some issues, but the promise of a pink room has her all smiles about it. :-)

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    1. Moving is a pain without adding the blizzard into it. Eep.

      Knowing something good will be at the end of the journey has to help.

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  4. My family moved when I was about 4 and my sister was 6. We were invited to share our neighbor's awesome giant trampoline and tree house whenever we wanted. My sister and I were such jerks to their son (who was about 7 or 8) that they banned us from coming over. We then wrote their son poorly-spelled hate mail and planted watermelon seeds in their (immaculate) front yard, where they sprouted the following year. I am sure my parents were very happy when they moved out and we could make a different impression on the next neighbors.

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    1. LOLOLOL omg, the crazy things we do as children. I've seen my share of small child hate mail (from both ends) but the watermelon seeds, now that was some evil genius right there.

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  5. You're a brave soul, living in Minnesota. :) But, yeah, moving is never fun -- just too much stress involved.

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    1. not so braze, I like the snow more than extreme heat!

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