Saturday, October 3, 2009

All Kinds of Families...

In the months before we actually confirmed that we were moving to Australia, we tried to prepare the kids for the possibility. My 8 year old daughter resorted to writing lists of the pros and cons involved. She had items like "won't be able to go to Granny's trailer at the lake" and "no tobogganing" as cons, and "better weather" and "a pool" on the pro side. I could understand her analytical thinking - she's like a clone of my dad (the engineer). He was famous in our family for his "lists" and calculations. I remember when my parents were building a fireplace downstairs - there was my Dad, deep in calculations on how many bricks it would take and how far apart they should be placed. Meanwhile, my Mom (the "action-ator") was already busily putting up the bricks using a Popsicle stick as a spacer! Anyways, I digress. I understand how Cat approached the decision on moving. It was the same way that I was trying to work my mind around it. Both of our lists had items that were not empirically measurable. How do you measure "missing family" with "can go surfing"?

My 5 year old son, however, had a different view of things altogether. He usually does. Jacko is his own little man. One morning, after Paul had gone to work, Jacko climbed into bed with me, cuddling up close. I love it when they snuggle. I asked him what was up and he tearfully told me that he did not want to move. Feeling somewhat ambivalent about the move myself, I tried to be the bigger person and talk about some of the positives and how it would be good for Daddy's work. That's when he came up with a doozer. "Mom," he said, "you know, there are all kinds of families." I kind of looked at him quizzically thinking "what are they teaching in school now?" He proceeded. "Mom, there are all kinds of families. In some families the dad lives somewhere else and he just comes and visits the kids...." Obviously there was an implied "why can't Dad just go?" "Oh man," I thought. Paul is not going to feel particularly loved when he hears this one!" "Honey," I started, "usually in those kinds of families, the mommy and the daddy aren't married anymore." It's not that he wanted Paul to move away. He just thought you could go to Australia and be back the next day. He was right about one thing though. These days there are all kinds of families. Luckily we have the type of family that sticks together, even when it means taking a leap of faith and moving across the world.

In the end, despite a bad start, Jacko did come around to the move. He decided having his own pool was indeed a true pro.

1 comment:

  1. I am also a list maker. It's soothing, it's orderly, it's wonderful to check off accomplished items. I love lists!