One Journey Ends…Another Begins

In Family, Life, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on May 30, 2011 at 8:12 am

In the summer of 2009, we decided to relocate from the only place that we had ever called home (New York) to try a different way of life in Texas.  When we first arrived, everything was new and exciting.  And though we missed the family and friends that we left behind, we did our best to embrace the change.

By the time that the holidays came around, my wife and I both started to miss New York.  The honeymoon phase of living in Texas was over, and we had settled into the usual routine of life, which only intensified the homesickness.  We had our reasons for the move, but we both started to question if we had made the right decision.

The thought of moving back to New York was already on our minds when we went back to visit last summer.  After three weeks of traveling back and forth to squeeze in as much time as possible with everyone before returning to Texas, we knew that we would be moving back to New York.  The only question at that point was whether to leave in the middle of the year, or to wait and let the kids finish school to minimize the disruption in their lives.  We chose to wait for the sake of the kids, but it made leaving Texas that much more difficult.

My daughter, who started out the year screaming, crying and clinging on to me as I dropped her off at pre-school ended the year loving school and making a lot of friends.  Her first pre-school was a terrible fit for her personality, but the one where she spent most of the year was absolutely perfect for her.  Even though she was hesitant to give the new pre-school a chance at first, she quickly made great strides under the caring and compassionate teachers at the new pre-school.

At the end-of-the-year picnic, my little one ran around laughing and playing as if it were just another day at the playground.  Thankfully, she couldn’t fully grasp the concept that saying goodbye to her friends at the end of the day was actually vastly different than any other goodbye that she had ever said to them.  As she hugged her best friend, my wife and I got choked up, but she seemed none the worse for wear.  And though she has had her moments of hesitation about leaving Texas, she is easily swayed when we point out things that are waiting for her on our trip back and upon our arrival back in New York.

My son was old enough to understand what was going on when we left New York, and he was not happy with us at all for uprooting his life.  On the trip down to Texas, we made a number of fun stops along the way, and by the time we got to Texas, he was doing fine.

We stayed with family for over a month when we got to Texas, which made the transition for my son much easier.  He and his cousin are almost the same age, and have many of the same interests.  Having a friend to play with on a daily basis helped my son adapt to life in Texas very quickly.  Once he made a number of friends in school, he really never looked back to New York.  He was prepared to stay in Texas, even if it meant missing out on a lot of time with his grandparents and family back in New York.

Day to day life in Texas wasn’t all that much different than day to day life in New York.  However, my wife and I were both affected by the things that we were all missing out on:  holiday traditions, milestone birthdays, family gatherings and the culture that made us who we are today.

Kids are much more resilient and adaptable to being in new situations.  Because my son was enjoying his life in Texas, he didn’t give much thought to the things that he was missing out on.  And even though he will make new friends when we get settled in New York, the thought of leaving the life that he has built in Texas was very upsetting to him.

Leaving Texas is bittersweet for all of us for various reasons.

My wife got to spend time with her sister who moved to Texas several years ago.  She became friends with my sister-in-law’s friends and became close with the people that she worked with.

My daughter made a lot of friends and fell in love with pre-school.  Because she was so young when we left New York, she doesn’t really remember our house, and only associates New York with the family that is there and the beaches that she loves.

Personally, I enjoyed various aspects of Texas, but it would have been much easier for me to leave had things gone according to plan this football season.  I had all but guaranteed that my son would end up playing for one of the coaches that I knew from previous seasons, but when my son excelled in tryouts, he was drafted by another team.  At first, I was disappointed, but after speaking to his new coach for a few minutes, I realized that we were going to have a great time in his final season of Texas football.

I’ve been an assistant football coach for years.  I’ve enjoyed my time on almost every team that we’ve been a part of, but this year was different.  When our practices were over, we would all hang out at one of the houses near the practice field.  The boys would all play together as we discussed the team over a few beers.  Before long, I became good friends with the head coach and his group of friends.

If we had ended up on the team that I thought that we were going to end up on, it would have been much different for me.  The coach of that team is a nice guy, but I would not have formed the kind of friendship with him that I did with the head coach of this team.  Ultimately, I would have left Texas with a number of casual friends, and leaving would have been fairly easy for me.

Life often times throws you a curve ball.

Before this football season started, it would have been very easy for me to leave Texas and go back home to New York.  Even though I am looking forward to going home, it is not without any regrets.

I knew how hard this was going to be on my son, so I purposely planned things to do on our trip back to New York to replace his sadness with happy memories that will last a lifetime.

Our first stop along the way is in Oklahoma.  I’ll be writing about our Oklahoma experiences in the next day or so…stay tuned!


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