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!