It occurred to me recently that where I live now is the longest I’ve lived in one house (six years) for the past 35 years. Up until now, it would have been five years but the average ‘stay’ was about three.
When my children were young, we lived in the same area on the Central Coast of California for over a decade so although we moved house a few times, we always managed to stay within the same school catchment area so that the kids didn’t have to move schools.
This week’s theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge is ‘On the Move’ which gives an added definition to the kind of ‘moving’ I’ve been thinking about.
As Cheri explains over at the Daily Prompt:
‘Whether on foot, in a kayak, or on a train, we can document our lives easily. More than ever, the moments of our in-betweens are photo-worthy and shareable.’
With both trains of thought (no pun intended!) coming together on this theme of ‘moving’, my ideas for this post drifted towards my twenty-one year old daughter, Aspie D:
To her younger years when she was so often ‘on the move’, as defined by the challenge, and happy, healthy and content within her family’s safe bubble:
Before the challenges of being a female with Asperger’s Syndrome and the resulting severe anxiety which blights her daily life took hold and for which she is now receiving professional support.
She has made great strides recently in many ways and I couldn’t be prouder.
But it isn’t easy.
I think of when we bought our last home in California. It was our dream home but our dream became our nightmare. If my marriage was bad before we moved in, it deteriorated at breakneck speed almost as soon as the removal van pulled away.
I promised my daughter, who was eight years old when we moved in, that we wouldn’t move again, if I had anything to do with it, that we would stay there until she graduated from high school when she was 18.
The move was hard on her, she detests change and did so then but of course we didn’t now that she had Asperger’s and just how vast the impact of having to change her routine, never mind her home, really had on her.
What she needed, what we all needed, was stability and security, not more upheaval.
She was happy in her new home, with her freshly-painted bedroom with the wallpaper border decorated with tropical Tree Frogs. Just what she had asked for…
Two years later, upon seeing the ‘For Sale’ sign on our front lawn, she took one of her shoes off and threw it at the sign. Then she ran into the house and up to her room where she cried her eyes out.
That’s the true reality of divorce.
Before we left, I took my children, who by then were 20, 14 and 10, on holiday to San Diego. We had wonderful days out at the Zoo, Sea World, and the Wildlife Safari Park.
We also had fun ‘playing’ at Paradise Point where we stayed, including riding about on what is known in America as a ‘surrey’ (defined in the US as ‘a light four-wheeled carriage with two seats facing forwards’):
Then came the day to leave our California. Time to head out to the airport and take to the skies, to move to our new life in England.
But not without Aspie D’s newly acquired Beanie Baby cat to share the journey. Just one of many to add to her collection, now stored away in a big box somewhere up in my loft. Probably worth a small fortune…
Life moves on, new adventures awaited us. I returned to England as a single mum, having living away for almost 20 years, and had to find a new home, new friends, re-enter the workforce, and begin again.
Then I found someone I didn’t expect to in a million years; my hubby.
Together we formed our new family. We went on holiday together, explored new places, had exciting adventures.
I was unable to keep my promise to Aspie D. Yet we kept moving forward, not allowing the brokenness of the past to overwhelm us. We pressed on and I know that my daughter will find her way.
She is Aspie Girl ‘On the Move’.