On Moving Away… and Yearning

I think it happens to everyone born oceanside after they move “away.”

The yearning.  For a return, for the big expanse of perpetual motion that puts everything in perspective, for salt in the air and water.  We cannot forget the ocean.  We yearn to go back to it.

Scarborough Beach11.jpg

I mean, look at that.  As a family and as a species, we come from that.  How could I not miss it?

The first time I called a plumber to my house, I stuck close to his side.  I tried to watch and learn and understand what was going on.  At the end of our visit, he laughed and said, “you know, every time I meet someone from Maine, the first thing they do is tell me where they are from.  Every single time!”

It’s a pride, an apology, an explanation.

My friends laugh these days when I squeal, “I’m from New England” and pretend to be shocked by something.  They don’t buy it any more; I’m reaching the crone years, after all.  But there was a time when I needed that phrase! I swear I did, haha.  It was a kind of shorthand.

Some may identify strongly with their ethnic or religious identity; I identify with my geographic region.

Scarborough Beach9But with that constant yearning came its companion, constant fantasy about moving.  I moved many times as a kid; I moved many times as an adult.  We’ve moved several times as a family.  And here’s the thing.

Moving with kids is overwhelming! My kids are anxious in opposite ways, so though I feel committed to holding space for them, and I ain’t afraid of calling in the pros, coralling all the belongings and emotions is not to be entered into lightly.

Our last move was particularly painful.  A week prior to closing, our buyer’s financing fell through.  We’d quit our jobs, we were packed, the kids were following along on the calendar, we had property in Maine picked out.  It was rough!  And then, about a month later, it happened again.  Our second buyer backed out.  But it was earlier in the process, so we weren’t all packed up and saying goodbye to our friends — again. Further complicating our process was the end of summer, and my promise to my kids that we wouldn’t make them move in the middle of the school year.  So…

We abandoned the plan.

Hence the yearning.  I’m working on minimizing that feeling with some distance learning from Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach.  Yearning is a waste of the present.  But the ocean is so strong!  Who can conquer the ocean?  And when the opportunity presents itself, I am ready.

I’m a recovering academic, so I have it all documented and organized. Even though my kids have had a few “dress rehearsals,” it’s still upheaval. Sensory kids need their upheaval managed and upheaval turns us all towards our sensory meltdown potential. I walk you through Breaking the News, getting them to help by signing their own Listing Agreement, Calendaring It Out with The Children so they know what to expect, and talking through the changes. If you’re planning a move, I’ve got your back!  Check out the description of my Moving and Changing Schools Kit.

Phone Pictures 433Kids who find out they have to move think first about their friends and their school and start to stress. I have a free guide that helps parents think through their schooling options.  Armed with this 3-page guide, you’ll feel more equipped to take charge of the project and support them through their concerns.  I would  be glad for you to have it for free. Click here to have Finding A School That Fits delivered to your email inbox.

Everything goes more smoothly with a plan and support. I created this program to support you as you support them.   See what I’m up to on my web site: AngelaLTodd.com




2 thoughts on “On Moving Away… and Yearning

  1. I love the way you write and that you let us all know that there are ways to deal with the strain and stress of moving – particularly for our children. You take a transition and turn it into a learning opportunity, giving kids and families new ways to not only cope, but to grow.


    • Thank you for reading and commenting! I do find taking a “cultural” approach helps reframe things as adventures or new things to explore rather than endure. Some books and movies on any given topic are always a great way to start! great to see you here, Deb, thank you!


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