Out of the Mouths of Babes

The Next Family

By: Danny Thomas

A couple weeks ago I went to Seattle to visit my parents with my girls. Their mother had just wrapped up her dissertation defense and all, so we left her at home to unwind in peace.

The visit was amazing. The girls are getting to the age where Gramma and Grampa can have fun with them at least as much as they have to take care of them; I think that is a critical balance in the Grandchild/Grandparent relationship.

It was a great time – the girls did well on the road, slept well, played well, and everyone had a lot of fun.
I also got to have some nice grown-up solo time – an afternoon playing music and chatting with close friends and an evening out “on the town;” meeting up and drinking a few beers with fun beautiful people to see and play live music.

However, the entire visit was tinged with a melancholy, knowing that, while the occasions that we actually make it up to Seattle are few and far between these days, the possibility of doing it with relative ease is going to be gone by the end of the summer.
This is hard for my wife and me, for sure, and a little for our kiddos too, I think. I know it’s hard for my folks! They’ve gotten used to seeing their grandkids on a regular basis, and it makes me sad to say goodbye to that.

Li’l Chaos, with the infinite wisdom of the four year-old, must have sensed the elephant that was in the room throughout the entire visit up north. On our last morning there, as Gramma was chopping up a pancake for her, she leaned forward, out of the blue, unprovoked, un-coached, and put her hand out to still Gramma’s chopping hands and said, “Don’t worry, you’re always part of our family, even when we’re in Minnesota.”

And that says it all; I have hope that we are doing an okay job with her because she knows that and knows enough to say it out loud!

So, that story is the rational part of my brain. The irrational part of my brain wrote a blog that looks more like this:

Holy shit
Holy f@&king shit
I am moving to Minnesota!
Not just me…
I am moving my family.
Um. Hello? That is huge
And guess what?
(my daughter says “guess what” at the beginning of every sentence these days
It must be rubbing off on me…)
Guess what? It’s not just me. I am moving an entire family.
We are moving together.
I am leaving the Northwest, my home, and moving with my family…
Halfway across the country.

We have had a tremendous blessing,
An achievement to be proud of, my wife has been hired as a Professor, right out of the gate, PhD in hand.

I am so proud.

SO much is changing.
It’s all good, it’s all big.
A lot of change.

I want to get out of here and start the next chapter!
I don’t want to leave…
It’s hard to face all the change, the worry, the decisions.
Impermanence.
The distance.
The things and people I love here – farther away.

At the other end of all this change
Is security and stability for our family…

But the growing pains…
The uprooting of our lives…
I guess I just have to remember the wise words of L’il Chaos and know that no matter where I am you will always be a part of my family. Thanks for that!

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