The air had that crisp, autumn breeze to it. The one that reminds you of high school football games and warm apple cider. I always loved when it changed to this time of year up north. There was something electric in the air. So why was I looking for something different? Something more? We had a perfect house, perfect jobs, perfect school for our little man. But yet, I yearned for days that would be spent in the sun more days of the year. To leave the snow and watch the sand in my little guy’s toes. His sheer exuberance for the beach is a sight to see. So what makes someone pick up and move their family away from everything they know, everything they have known? It was like this itch that I needed to scratch. But I wasn’t sure how it would affect our family, our status quo, our relationships. But sometimes, for the good of the family, you just need a change of pace.
It’s not an easy decision to decide to move away. My son had just gotten into a groove with his buddies from school, he had his “for life” girlfriend. He would need to meet new people who didn’t know him since birth and didn’t feel morally obligated to deal with his only child attitude! That prospect can be terrifying.
My husband and I talked at great lengths about the pros and cons of following our dreams to pursue things we only secretly thought about. But always there, at the forefront of our conversations, was thinking about how the decision to move would affect our son. This was a move we were choosing to make rather then a relocation. Did taking him away from his grandparents make us monsters? We felt like that sometimes. It can be sad that grandparents and family aren’t there every day, every week.
But then we realized that we could create a new normal. The beauty behind those formerly nearby and readily accessible relationships can be even more cherished when you have to have them at a distance. This doesn’t work for everyone. But we try to make it work for us. We knew that since my son has an affinity against using phones and/or Face time, it would not be easy. His girlfriend wanted to talk to him! I had hoped that moving would change this, but it did not. But you work on it and you try to find a balance. I don’t think we have found it yet. But that doesn’t mean we will stop trying, nor does it make our decision to move less right for us.
There is no easy answer to making a life change. To go on faith and pick up and leave. There are many factors to consider, and, as a mother, I found that as we looked around at different cities all over the East Coast and beyond to make our move, I kept coming back to the one factor that was gnawing at me: What place is going to be best for our son?
My husband would have loved to take this amazing opportunity we had to live on the side of a mountain with no other humans in sight. He could write everyday and have the beauty of the mountains and nature in his view. It was a very romantic idea. On the other hand, he also wanted to live in a beautiful city. He exclaimed during our visit to one such city, after enjoying some drinks and finding ourselves in a jazz club late at night, “This could be us every single weekend!” To which I replied, “Um, dear, you do realize we have a child, right? We will never be doing this EVERY weekend.” We would have been living farther outside of said city than I would have liked, and the schools were not what I was looking for.
Every aspect has to be considered when you make a move and have a child. Sometimes I just had to remind my husband of this! I wanted to make sure we were someplace that we could fall in love with and also still provide our son every opportunity that we wanted for him.
Charleston has become our new home, and we are truly happy with the decision we made as it was the right time, right move, for us. Making the decision to move, when it is truly a decision of something you want to do rather than something you have to do, is different for everyone. How you approach the decision and what you decide is truly a unique and individual choice, and looking at what is best for your family unit is a must. And now, as I can reflect on this change; I am happy and proud of us for doing it.
My son is adjusting nicely. We feel like the choice we made for our family is a good one. We have spent more time at the beach and exploring the wonderful city that is right at our fingertips than I could have ever dreamed of. We are outside every single day. That is incredible! It’s been wonderful to call this amazing place home. No wonder everyone that comes down here wants to stay! My son no longer asks when we are going back to the house we sold (he knows new people live there, but he just thought that we could tell them to leave). Instead, he asks to go outside and play with his friends in the neighborhood, who are wonderful. We found our little slice of what was needed, and I look forward to all the beauty and opportunities that this city, and our new beginning, has to offer.