Monday, April 23, 2007

Residential Revelation

Today is Number Two's 8th birthday, and while I was sweeping up kitty litter, I realized we have lived in this house longer than I have ever lived anywhere else in my life.

  • December 1970, born in England (father in Air Force). Lived there one year.
  • Approximately January 1972 (unsure exactly when) moved to Southwick, Massachusetts. Lived there about 6 years.
  • August 1978, parents split up, moved to a duplex on Orlando Street in Agawam, MA. Lived there two years.
  • Summer 1980, mother decided we should move to California for the college tuition benefits. Sold everything, packed up and flew out there. Flew back about two weeks later after she got really sick and we couldn't find an affordable place to live (no Internet then for easy research).
  • Lived with Mom's friend for short time, I don't remember how long--a few months.
  • Moved into an apartment for rest of fifth grade.
  • Sometime in fifth grade moved into Brady Village in Agawam and stayed there until end of 11th grade.
  • 1987 mother got married and we moved to North Chatham, NY.
  • August 1988 I moved to college. February 1989 mother and stepfather and little brother moved to Fairfield, CT.
  • From 1989 to 1991 I moved back and forth to college and my parents moved again. Summer 1989 I spent in Fairfield; summer 1990 was in Michigan working at Sarrett Nature Center; summer 1991 moved Jim from his parents' to an apartment in Lewistown.
  • January 1992, after graduation, lived in MD while interning at National Geographic Society. Moved back to Lewistown, PA, in May.
  • July 1992 moved to Newport, PA, halfway between my job and Jim's.
  • Spring 1995 moved to New Buffalo, PA, while pregnant (closer to my job, better apartment).
  • March 1999 moved here about 6 weeks before McKenna was born.
I know military kids move more than that, but 11 times in three years is up there. At least those moves were fairly small, because I always lived in one room. :) Nowadays, the thought of moving all the stuff we've accumulated is horrifying.

Unless I start making a boatload of money with my writing or we win the lottery (which we don't play), we'll be here a minimum of ten more years. Jim never changed schools, and I changed four times (not counting the usual moves to middle, junior, and senior highs). We came from different places, but with the same result--we don't want to make our kids move.

Though, it's funny. I moved the summer before my senior year, from a large-ish high school to one that was one-third the size. From a place where I was an outcast in most ways, to a place where I was welcomed and embraced and the brains were also the cool kids. I had the best year of my life (to that point) then, and wish I could have gotten there sooner.

My brother, on the other hand, had the extreme opposite experience. He HATED the new school and didn't get treated very well. When they moved him again midway through his freshman year, that was the best thing for him.

I don't know if being the new kid a lot, combined with innate shyness, is what makes it so hard for me to go into new social situations now. It seems likely, though I remember that move my senior year with a huge dose of sweet nostalgia. Still, it's not enough to take a chance for my kids if I can avoid it.


Victoria said...

Yep. That's some heavy duty moving!

"Still, it's not enough to take a chance for my kids if I can avoid it."

Heard that and agree. My family moved 8 times before settling here. All the way across the country. B & I moved twice before moving in here, with the intent of not moving again until all the kids are out of school. (unless there's no choice)

It was hard for me to be the new kid...still is.

Happy Birthday, Number Two!!

WarT0rn said...

Feel the same darlin'. While I didn't do nearly as much as you. I understand it, which is why I work so hard to keep my chicas in a elemantery school 35 miles away from our home. Happy Bday sweetheart!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Wow, V, that's a lot, too.

Eric, you do that because you're such a good dad. :)

Thanks for the birthday wishes for M!