Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Moving Experience

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A Moving Experience

Article excerpt

AS I made the decision to move, I was reminded of the adage about "the four worst things" - unemployment, divorce, moving, and death. I thought grimly that I was three for four, having only recently found employment after my divorce and now staring down the challenge of relocating my family to a more affordable place closer to my new job.

I let myself add the fourth "worst thing" to the list, because we live in New York, and death has been a prime subject of our city's rhetoric since last September. But only briefly.

I didn't want to fill my mind with images of death and destruction, just as I didn't want to occupy mental space with a negative proverb. We had to move, and I had to relinquish the adage's grip.

We had lived through the divorce, I had found a wonderful job, and the prospect of finding a new home with my daughters was exciting.

Now I faced doubt in my daughters, other family members, and friends. The girls initially felt I was taking them further from their father. Literally, that would be the case, by about eight miles. But I told them their father would be as welcome in our new home as he is in our current one, and that they'd be spending more time on weekends with him because of both the logistics of the travel and our decisions about how to make the transition for them smoother.

I talked to them about "home," and what they thought it meant. "It's where we all are," my younger daughter said. "So then there's nothing to be afraid of," I told her.

The adults in my life took a different, more factual sort of convincing. "How will you manage?" asked my mother, who has not budged from the home where I grew up. I referred to the last time we moved, although it had involved the children's father.

"Where will you go?" neighbors asked with strain. I mentioned a neighborhood close to the school where I work.

"Rents are impossible," a colleague warned. I told her I'd heard they were dropping.

"Realtors are a notch above drug dealers," my supervisor offered, as protection. …

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