I can hardly believe that we've been living here for almost four years. Time has flown by mind bogglingly fast. We've had two babies in this house. So many other transitions and so much growth and so much change has happened. And, as is the case as a military family, our time here is almost up.
One of the big reasons that Adam tried so hard to get this job is that we were very interested in getting an overseas assignment. Adam spent quite a bit of time over there when he was growing up and he loved it. He's talked about us getting over there the whole time we've been married! As the end of this assignment approached, he began working hard on finding a job and then getting that job. Well, it worked. We will be moving to England (Yorkshire area) in July of '09!
We have told the kids. And for the most part the ones who understand, seem very, very excited to have this amazing adventure. Though I really don't think they have any idea what kind of change this might mean for them. They were very excited about the possibility of living in a castle. (We told them we weren't going to live in one, but that we would be able to visit some.) Then they were excited about the possibility of traveling to England on a large cruise ship.
But slowly questions have started leaking out that have led me to believe that they are extremely nervous and more than a little sad about this huge transition. We've been answering more and more questions about what we are going to be bringing with us, "Will they move the kitchen cabinets?" "I am sure that we will leave our furniture." "Will we take our kitties with us?" We've been trying to answer them gently and patiently, knowing that they won't really understand until it happens.
We've also been slowly getting the house ready so that we can easily rent it when we leave. We have decided that we are going to spruce up the kitchen a little bit. We've put in some new light fixtures and put on new cabinet hardware. The last projects will be to take down the floral border that is up, paint the whole kitchen and then put new counter top on.
Last night, at dinner, we started talking about what was going to happen to the kitchen. Isaac became very upset, nay hysterical, about the idea that we were going to take down the floral border. "It is so pretty!", he insisted several times over. He was choking because he was crying so hard. Oh it was unpleasant. He asked if we were going to save the floral border. He asked if we were going to put it up in our new house in England. He cried about it for a really long time.
It was tempting to brush off his hysteria as exhaustion or hunger or any number of other causes. But it occurred to me, while he was crying, that this was a manifestation of his feeling out of control.
Recently there have been some negative developments in my life that were not of my doing or choosing, yet they affected me in a very real and deep way. One of the ways that I first tried to help myself cope, was to obsess about the details of the developments. Daily, I found myself searching for information to explain or shed light on why the developments happened. But the more I searched, the more upset I got and the less I was able to release their hold on me and begin to move forward.
And here is Isaac, stuck in a situation not of his choosing or doing. And it is a huge, life altering experience. We are leaving the only house he remembers, all his friends, the only way of life he's ever known. He has no frame of reference to consider the unknown, only that it is unimaginably scary. The changes that he fears so greatly aren't here right now, so his fear is manifests itself in obsessing over the details.
Control is so powerful, so comforting. It is so hard to give ourselves over to the idea that our lives contain developments, positive and negative, that we have absolutely no control over. So we have to learn how to control the only aspect that we can, how we react. Do we fall into a ball of self pity? Do we detour around the problem? Do we choose happiness? Do we reassess and dive in again?
I'm hoping to teach Isaac that it's okay to be scared. It's okay to acknowledge all the feelings that we have. But I also want to teach him that allowing ourselves to become mired in the details, just because it is comforting to have something to control, isn't a great way to go about life. I'm pretty sure that his control issues are something that he's going to have to deal with his whole life. I know that I'm still struggling with mine and I might just know some people who are older, and wiser, than me who are still learning to cope.
I just hope that we can take down the floral border without any more tears. Change can be good and I think the kitchen is going to look great. Even if the pretty flowers are gone.