sad mama heart

Moving is tough- especially when you’re a three year old and don’t understand the concepts of time or distance.  I knew that once fall hit & our hectic travel schedule ceased we’d start to feel that we really have moved.  Well, this week it feels like we have moved.

I’ve moved a few times in my life throughout high school, college and adulthood. However, I’ve never moved with a child before.  At the beginning of the summer Reuben was super-excited to be in Cleveland (and who wouldn’t be btw!;) For the last week he’s been asking me every day “can we go over to Ransoms house? Can we go see Silas?” (his friend and cousin) Everyday I have to explain to him that we can’t go see them because they live in Michigan & that’s far away now. It really stinks 😦

cousins!

It takes time to develop friendships and networks, I miss my friends and the familiarity of being able to drive down streets without wondering “I wonder where this street goes and if it will lead to where I hope to end up!” (thankyou iPhone). I knew those things would be difficult but I didn’t expect how sad I’d feel for my son that he misses his friends.

Reuben has also come up with an imaginary friend “melody.” I had no idea where this name came from since we only have one friend Melodie and don’t see her very often. Dave clued me in that there was a dog in the Marmaduke movie named Melodie. We’ll see if Melodie persists- but she also misses Reuben’s friends. As we were driving home the other day he was telling me about “princess melodie” and that she wanted to go to Ransom’s house this year. I explained that yes, likely this year we would get to go see Ransom. “Melodie thinks that’s a splendid idea!” Reuben exclaimed, expecting that I’d turn the car around and hop on the highway. Again, the concepts of time and distance are lost on a toddler.

Thankfully he’s started preschool and I hope he’ll make some good friends there. For the time being he has Melodie and a mama that’s trying to care for his little lonely heart. Other mama’s that have moved- how have you helped your kids cope with loneliness and the transition time where they don’t yet have any friends? I’d love your advice and your prayers!

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4 thoughts on “sad mama heart

  1. oh little man Reuben! 😦 I wish I had some advice to give, but honestly I still have trouble dealing with my own loneliness after moving away from friends and family. Reuben is SO super special and such a fabulous kid, I know he’s not going to just forget his friends and cousins in MI; but kids are resilient, he’ll make new friends at pre-school, and that will help. And imaginary friends come and go…my sister had two growing up for a short time. Tommy and Theresa….Tommy was the girl and Theresa was the boy…. explain that one! 🙂

    Love you! Take care,

    Tara 🙂

  2. Poor Reuben. My heart goes out to you guys. One thing to know is that it does get better, but it does not go away. We still have frequent talks about why we don’t live near grandma or about how E really misses friends from Chicago.

    We sent notes in the mail to friends, planned imaginary parties complete with invitations, prayed for our friends, looked at FB photos, and recorded videos to send to Emma’s friends from far away. She got notes from them too. This helped. I also tried to really follow Emma’s lead in terms of making new friends in the neighborhood. If she really wanted to play with the neighbor she just met and I didn’t feel like it so much, I generally honored her request because I knew she needed that. Starting preschool helped so much. Half way through the year she felt just as comfortable in her new environment and only missed a few key people from her life before rather than feeling totally displaced. Meeting a key friend in Sunday School early on helped with church too.

    In terms of relatives, we skyped my parents/sister and they send “Papa boxes” which are full of small treats and gifts from them or holiday cards for small holiday like V-day with baskin-robbins $$. In return, she colors pictures and buys little things for them like Tic Tacs that she sends in the mail too.

    the actual emotion of loneliness was the toughest part. we just had to pray with her and tell her we were sad too and talk through the emotions and, again, follow her lead in terms of what she was interested in doing (making a phone call to the person she missed or distracting herself with another activity).

    At this point, she really wants to go back to visit her old life again. Since it was not even the state we are from, this makes it tough. I hope we can take her back to Chicago at some point to see places and people she is missing.

  3. Oh jess, I feel for you guys in this time of transition. Poor little Reuben, sorting through all the changes in his little heart. It will get better as he meets friends at preschool and you guys meet and connect with more people.

    When we were in Italy, I tried to spend a lot of focussed, quality time with the boys, and made outings a discovery adventure. Some of what your friends suggested were also ideas we did. Writing notes to friends, skyping, and praying through the sad times were valuable. We enjoyed looking at pictures, but sometimes, that was hard for the boys, especially Asher. Lucas used to create adventure stories with his coloring pages and we’d dedicate them to a friend back home.

    It’s so hard to see your young child go through an unsettling period, but you are a great mom and you’ll know what to do, specific for Reuben. And they do bounce back. Oh and Reuben cracks me up with his quotes, “Melodie thinks that’s a splendid idea”. I miss that kid, and you most.

    Will be praying for you specifically in regards to Rueben, and I think Reuben’s got it right when he thought you should just turn around right then and there and head to GR.

    xoxo

  4. Moving is tough! I think that everything that Lisa said is a great idea, though. And since Reuben has started preschool hopefully that will help. And finding new friends at church. Poor guy, though, since he doesn’t understand time or distance. Fortunately for you you have reasons to return to Michigan and he’ll get to see his cousins still. 🙂

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