Moving is the worst. No, no wait. Moving an established family with their various things (including children and their various things) is the worst. Moving when we were young wasn’t so bad. When we had very few, mostly small, prized possessions and no kids who needed to do things like attend school and bathe and eat, moving was a snap. Now? Nightmare of the highest order. And also, as a friend of mine so eloquently put it, “heart-stoppingly expensive”. She was not exaggerating.
Now let’s add a little fun to the mix. For this cycle, let’s have the Navy move us in December. Right smack in the middle of the school year. And the holidays (including a little boy’s birthday). And, don’t forget, this move is overseas. Oh what fun, it is to ride, in a 777 for eight hours right before Christmas!
So, let me tell you, U.S. Navy, what this family got out of a December, overseas move.
Ten Christmas cards. And those were only from the really devoted friends and family who tracked down our new address. Also, jealousy, as I saw updates on Facebook of mantles and bowls full of cards received by friends who never move.
A (bland) Christmas dinner made without spices but with an already broken, Dollar Store knife, two just purchased pans and a disposable casserole dish. Served on paper plates.
A huge Christmas tree purchased to take up space in our completely empty living room.
A birthday trip to the movies. Luckily, the last bit of my pre-move planning skills went to organizing a party before we left Belgium so the big day of an eight year old boy I know wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Holiday movies on a giant, brand new television that I don’t understand. It sits on the floor because we haven’t seen our furniture in months. Still no date yet for its arrival.
The loss of the last bit of my mind as I navigated through malls the week before Christmas. You can’t pre-buy presents when you move in December. You get a certain amount of baggage you’re allowed to bring with you and if one suitcase was filled with gifts, we would have had to leave out something else. Like shoes. Plus, the loss of a little bit of my own holiday happiness as I had no time for handmade gifts, a custom for me. Still, the kids weren’t complaining.
The need to go out shopping again for… wait for it… school supplies. What wrong have I done in my life that I have been cursed with having to buy school supplies twice in one year?
And, of course, the only true, actual problem…the middle of the school year move. It’s bad enough that these kids move every three years, but right in the middle of the year? Not only are they leaving behind friends and teachers and schools that they know and love, but they spend the first half of the year practicing the recorder for Christmas concerts they won’t play in and starting school projects that they won’t get to finish and planning Cub Scout campouts that they won’t get to attend. Then, the big one. The stress of starting at a new school in the middle of the year, once school projects have already begun, sports teams have already formed, choirs have already picked their members and education has already begun without them. My kids are ten and eight years old. This is too much stress for them. Navy? This has to stop. Yeah, yeah, they learn to become resilient. Ok, they learn how to make friends. But these are things they would learn anyway. These are not marks in the pro-move column. In fact, I can’t think of one positive thing to say about a middle of the school year move. If the Navy is going to continue moving the entire family, they should consider the entire family.
But at least I got an enormous tree out of it.