Life. It is weird.

It’s funny.  You move into a house and you make a life there.  You join a church and a school, and you spend years getting to know people.  You become enmeshed in the community.  You feel like you’ll be there forever. 

Then you move. 

You may move across state lines or even across the country.  You may not even see your old friends again.  Or you may just move 30 minutes away — close enough to stay in touch but too far away to make the effort very often.  Which is what we did, about two-and-a-half years ago.

I just got back from an evening in my old stomping grounds.  Some of them might even be reading this.  (Hi friends!)  It was bittersweet seeing everyone.  I was reminded of everything we left behind.  I was also reminded that nothing ever stays the same. 

I love my life here.  I wouldn’t trade it even for a day.  But it was strange to see my old life going on without me.  These are people who ate dinners in my kitchen, hung out in my backyard while our kids played, watched my kids when I was miserably pregnant, brought us meals when I had babies, and kept me company in my new house on moving day.  I still chat with some of them on the phone and exchange an occasional email.  But they are no longer part of my day-to-day.

Of course, I have new friends who bring us meals and watch my kids and hang out in the yard with a glass of wine or three after a long day.  They don’t replace my old friends.  But they are my now.  After two-and-a-half years, I’m enmeshed here.

When we were driving home tonight, I asked my kids if they miss their old neighborhood.  They said yes.  When I asked why, they said because the miss their friends (and they began listing them by name).  Then I pointed out that if we hadn’t moved, they wouldn’t have all of their new friends. 

My 5-year-old had the perfect solution — "I think we should start a new neighborhood and live with everyone all together."

Sounds reasonable to me!

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14 Responses

  1. I think your five-year-old is onto something. I’ve often wondered if that’s what heaven is like…all the people we’ve cared about here on earth, together in close proximity. Our own celestial neighborhood.

  2. Your 5 year old is spot on!

    We spent a year in England, and I made some wonderful friends who got me through. I still keep in touch with some, and one visits N Ireland regularly, so we get to see each other. However in January I flew over for her 40th. It was great to see everyone, but yes – they were living my other life without me – weird!

    When I moved back here, my old friends and I – we had all changed too. But I am probably closer to my friends here now as a result of the whole experience.

    Heaven is going to be great!

  3. Being a military family, we have often wished we could take our best friends from each base (there have been 9 in 19 years) and set up a sort of commune. Right now we’re trying to convince a couple of families to retire to the same city we’re going to next year. If only…

  4. I love the way five year olds think. If only the world could be so simple. It would certainly be a better place if it were ran by these kids.

  5. Your 5 year old’s comments sounds so similar to mine…

    We move every 3 years – always overseas (off to India in 7 weeks). This is the first move where my girls feel it. They’re leaving friends, their school, the only place they really remember as home.

    After her last ballet class, my daughter looked so somber – and when I asked her what was wrong, she started crying. She said that she was afraid all her friends were going to forget her.

    She’s 5…. I shudder to think what it’s going to be like when she’s 12.

  6. This also reminds me of the stages of motherhood / children’s ages. Some of my friends have changed since both my kids are now in school full time. Your five year old has a great idea!

  7. It’s amazing to see the world through a 5 years old mind. Why couldn’t everything be so simple? Kids are truly amazing!

  8. There is an old saying “you have friends for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Many of my friends are for a season (like high school or college) and more often I find that these days my friends are for a reason (we are on the PTA board together, they daughter and my daughter are friends) but to truly have friends for a lifetime is one of life’s great treats. I have 2 friends that will ALWAYS be my friends and to have a neighborhood with my trusest friends (who by the way do not even know each other) would be more fun then I could stand!

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