This week brings a change to my life. My oldest daughter and my 3-year old grand-daughter are leaving Florida and making their week-long trek across the U.S. to their new home in Seattle, Washington. Their leaving is bittersweet.
I remember growing up and moving all the time. My dad was in the Army and from the time I was a baby, I was a traveler. I had the most amazing childhood, living in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas and even Germany for 2 years. I’ve seen many things some people will never see in a lifetime and I’ve experienced different cultures and foods. Granted, as a child, I never stayed anywhere long enough to really make long-lasting friends, but the trade-off was ok with me then as it is now. Thankfully, as I grew into adulthood and started my family, I set down some roots and developed friendships that have lasted for twenty years or more. One of those dear friends lives not far from where my daughter will live, so, the trip to Washington, when I go, will be a double delight!
I have to say I contribute my positive attitude regarding the constant changes in my life as I was growing up to my mother, God rest her soul. She fed us with a belief that change, no matter how good, how small, how happy or sad, should be embraced and seen as something positive. Many kids would never adjust well to constant changes and moves, but my life growing up was almost magical. I’ve seen castles and traveled riverboats, walked ghost towns of the mid-west and I even saw and heard a tornado in Kansas (pretty traumatic for an 8-year old). I’ve played in snow 5-feet deep, seen the Alps, and was bitten by a crab when I was five years old on the shores of Pensacola, Florida. Every city, every town, every state and every country held all sorts of possibilities, journeys and left me with a lifetime of enchanted memories. Of course leaving them left me sad but the sadness didn’t last long as there was always a new adventure wherever we went.
So, while it makes me sad to see my daughter and grand-daughter go so far away from me, my heart rejoices because they are off on their own adventure, creating their own magical memories. Imagine waking every morning to the Orca whale song in Puget Sound, or peering out your window at Mount Baker. And the seafood couldn’t get any fresher: Alaskan king crab, oysters, salmon… There are beautiful parks for my grand-daughter to play and Vancouver is a boat-ride away. My sweet little baby girl’s senses will open to so many things she would never find in Florida and the experience will make her a better person all the way around.
I will miss my grand-daughter terribly. I’ll miss hearing her sweet laugh, seeing her smile, feeling her hugs. I’ll miss not seeing her face as it lights up in wonder as she sees her first whale in the wild or giggles like mad when she has her first snowball fight. But these are all the ways of life. This is her time, her adventure, her story to one day tell.
Yes, changes are good, even if they do leave little tears in the heart. At least I have an advantage my grandparents didn’t have when I was little. I have Skype, and you better believe I’m going to use it…a lot!