I moved a lot as a child. Dad had a job which required a lot of international moves, so we moved every 1-3 years. When I finished school I had attended 7 schools and lived in 9* houses. By the time we got married, went to college and moved to our current house, the number of houses had risen to 14. That averaged one house for every two years of my life.
Since the end of last year we have been in our house for 7 years. This house in Adelaide, which we love and which is lovingly provided by the church Husband works for - is the winner: “The house that Wendy has lived in the longest”.
Having moved so much has made me realise a few things:
1. Kids are resilient. More resilient than we often given them credit for. I was a painfully shy creature, yet I coped with move after move (I know, not all children will). For me, moving lots during primary school was no real problem, it was when we got to upper high school that it got really hard.
2. I plot the events of my childhood and remember things according to where I was living (either house or city), or which school I was at. For my husband, who attended 2 schools and lived in one house, this doesn’t work for him.
3. Family are very important. The reason I coped as well as I did was because we had a very close family. The four of us were all we needed to be happy, and we were. I had an extremely close relationship with my sister, we had to be each other’s friends until we met new friends in the new school.
4. I am always planning the next move. Until very recently we kept all boxes for appliances and everything that might need to be repacked. I often think about what I will throw out when we move. Only in the last month have I thrown out a whole lot of this stuff.
5. Just this last year I have realised that when you are in a house for 7 years, it and the furniture & things in it really need a full clean every few years. You can’t just plan to do it properly when you move. Now I clean it because I want to live in it with it that clean.
I wonder how long it will take to get “the next move” out of my mind, or if it will always be part of who I am?
* to be precise, there were more than 9 houses - but these include rentals during renovations, etc.