Today is my last full day in New York City. I've lived here for close to nine years now, a period that has seen many life changes for me (you can read my love letter to NYC at my other blog, My168hours.com). One of the biggest life changes has been becoming the mother of two small children. I have my own complicated feelings about this move (out to the suburbs of Philadelphia) but one big question for me right now is how to deal with my kids' feelings about it.
We've been talking about it a lot. The kids have seen the "new house" several times, and had fun playing in the back yard and running through the empty hallways. Indeed, as we've left to come back to NYC, Jasper has sometimes asked to stay at the house. He's also really excited that we will have a car (not a part of an NYC kid's existence!) So we think they'll be happy with it. But it's not easy to convey the permanent nature of a move to small kids. It's not easy to convey that there will be new schools with new friends in the fall, new babysitters, new routines, and so forth. We've looked at the new house's location on the map. I've been on the watch out for any questions or particular feelings about it. But little kids are little kids. The other night when he was in bed, Jasper told me "Mommy, I'm sad." I asked him why, thinking it would be about leaving his school or friends. But he informed me that he was sad because "I want you to bring me milk." Ah.
I'm curious how others of you have dealt with big life transitions with kids. How do you explain a new school, a new home, or other new arrangements?