Last night, Kellen and Kendrie and I were in the van together, driving to (where else? The black hole of my life) soccer practice. Out of the blue, Kendrie asked, “Mom, when are we moving back to Georgia?”
I sort of sighed to myself, because I had hoped we were past that --- past the missing of friends so much that she wants to pack up and go back. Right after we moved to Oklahoma, she told us constantly that she wanted to move “home” to Georgia, but I hadn’t heard it in a while, so I had hoped she was finally feeling settled here.
“Honey,” I replied, “we’re not moving back to Georgia. Oklahoma is our home for good now. We’re never moving again.”
“Pssschnnghhhh!” (You know that noise? That goofy, nasally noise that people make when they’re trying to get a point across? Yeah, that was the noise Kendrie made just then, even if I don’t know how to spell it.) “Maybe YOU’RE not moving back, but I am! As soon as I turn 16 and get a car, I’m out of here!”
She was laughing when she said it, so I don’t think it was anything sinister … just that she was making clear the point that her heart still lies in Georgia (Hello, Nicholas! I’m looking at you!!)(Even though, I have to admit, Matt is growing on me more and more every day.)(And how funny is it that Kendrie refers to them as "her Georgia boyfriend" and "her Oklahoma boyfriend."??)(Good grief, do nine-year olds understand the concept of bigamy???)
“Well, you can stay here, but I am GONE when I turn 16!”Then, she said, in a sheepish little voice, “But, um, I’ll need you to give me directions.”
I was taking a deep breath, to try and explain to her about “good” friends and “old” friends, and how I’m so happy she still feels strong ties to her old school and old friends, but that, in all reality …. Sixteen is a life-time away. While I certainly hope she is still in touch, and still has fond memories of Georgia and our time there, I doubt she will still feel like relocating once that time comes. Instead, I want her to be entrenched here, with her new friends, and her time with family, and to be happy and content with her Oklahoma life. It's hard to explain to a nine-year old that they won't always feel like they feel now, but I guess I needed to try.
Kellen, however, beat me to the punch.
He said to her, “Kendrie, things will be SO different by the time you are sixteen!”
“Ahhh, good!” I thought, “He *gets* it. Maybe coming from him, the concept of faraway and long-away will seem more reasonable. I’m so glad to know I’ve got such a reasonable, practical son.”
Then he burst my bubble with the following words: “By the time you’re sixteen, you’ll know how to read a map! You won’t need mom to give you directions!!”