Saying Goodbyes

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In many areas of my life I despise open-ended situations.  I like closure.  I thrive on to-do lists written and completed.  Checking off tasks and finishing up loose ends?!  Heaven.  There was something so magical (albeit, bittersweet) about closing my classroom door each June, walls stripped bare, desks emptied, report cards and thank you notes written and sent, units of study completed.  Closure.  Blessed, blissful, closure when teachers need it most.

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{can’t resist posting this image from Mel Larson…SO TRUE!  My heart is with you, teachers!!!}

As we sit in the middle of transition, I am assessing my relationship with closure a bit more closely, actually wondering if I might see things a little differently.  In the past, we moved within a 100 mile radius of the Bay Area.  We might not *see* friends and family as regularly or easily as when we taught next door or lived down the street, but it was within the realm of possibility to attend birthday parties, ladies nights, holidays and celebrations without too much trauma or drama.

Now, however, there is a distance that gets a little tougher.  600 miles kind of tricky.  That reality makes quick, impromptu meet-ups much harder {and more expensive!}.  Goodbyes, during this transition season, feel “weightier”.  Processing these truths is hard enough as a 39 year old.  Helping a 2.5 or 6 year old comprehend it is no fun, and frankly, not wise.  The last thing I need to impress on my six year old is the cold hard truths that will inevitably happen with some friends as time and distance creates separation.

Part of helping little ones process transition and change is to enter into those hard places myself.  Many of my dearest friends have moved recently and all have given the same advice—-make sure you are grounded and calm yourself, because your kids need you to provide grounding and stability.  In practical ways, that means packing boxes when they aren’t around, if possible.  Planning fun adventures to tick off the bucket list in our current location.  Dreaming together about treats to look forward to in our new town.  Promising 100’s of boxes at their disposal upon unpacking—aka “Tent City Corvallis” will be erected in our backyard, no doubt.  Playdates and special, simple times of connection with friends and family over the unfolding few weeks, not all compressed into our last few, rushed days.  Listening for the “background” emotions that are being camouflaged by anger, hyperactivity & disobedience.

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There is MUCH room for growth since I am so imperfect at “chaos” and “change”.  I often seek advice and wisdom from those who have gone before me—-how did you survive?!?  What are the magic bullets for successful transitioning, especially for kids?

When it comes down to it, though, there isn’t one, perfect solution, one full-proof method.  But these words from Paul to the Romans (translated from the Message) reminded me of a deeper truth.  Trying to conquer, solve or perfect my way through transition is pointless.  There will be hard times ahead, moments (weeks and months, perhaps!?) of loneliness and change.  But we are promised companionship with Christ.  God’s very Spirit given to walk with us.

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

~Romans 8: 12-17

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So—-saying goodbye.  Do YOU say it?  Do you wistfully visit favorite spots for the last time?  Eat at “old standbys” sensing the finality of it all?  Or….do you practice avoidance and try to disappear into the background when everyone else isn’t looking?  How do you transition well and say goodbye?  Do you use the hokey line, “It isn’t goodbye, it’s ‘see you later’!”?  A vulnerable mix, no doubt, of presence, sharing, time spent together.  Opportunities to reminiscence and even make some new memories.  Some pictures and moments from the last few weeks….

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Found Alex working on this end of the year card for his teacher. I am in love with his poem attempt, especially the last line.
“Dear Miss Moorehead,
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I love you
How I wonder what you will do this summer
I love you
You love me
We are dynamite
Together.
P.S. don’t forget to vote for me for president!”

IMG_3430Our Little In and Out Workers

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Due to extra wet fun at the park this past week, Drew went into Sprouts with a droopy diaper and an In and Out hat. Super classy. Got lots of stares, some laughs & one woman who turned and ran the other way (three times) when she say us down an aisle. One of the funniest moments with Drew yet.

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3 thoughts on “Saying Goodbyes

  1. Such a great topic! I’m going through the same feelings right now and did the same last year when we moved to Amsterdam. My philosophy is to live it up and enjoy each day. Celebrate your friends. Eat ice cream. Go to the beach. Play. Forget feeling guilty and let the clutter go a little longer. Keep dinners simple. Enjoy the moment… all the life lessons we hear and actually get to put into practice, right now. And I say to myself, Let go… Let God. As I let go of control and ask God for guidance and ask him to show me the way… miracles happen. Peace comes over me, once I acknowledge and let go of the anxiety and need to have all the answers. Let the kids stay up late and have play dates. Give them something to look forward to at the new place… like when we get there, we’re going to start collecting (x,y,z). Or we’re going to discover all the great parks and waterfalls, or something like that. Having something to look forward to, helps with the transition. Wishing you all the best and sending you a hug… it’s not easy, is it?? xxoo

  2. Adriana…..what a WONDERFUL comment. So many good things to to put into practice and I love hearing them from someone who has just gone through it and will go through it again….
    THANK YOU!
    Christine

  3. Reblogged this on hereiam and commented:
    Day 320: Processing the Goodbyes and Transitioning
    I’ve never linked to a blog and reblogged it on by own blog, but am trying it out to see how this works and because I love what Christine had to share today. She made me think and remember to enjoy the journey, even this separation process, and to let go of the need to control every detail. I’m happiest when I surrender to the process and trust that all is well and that God has a plan for me that’s bigger than me, and if I just flow with it, all will be good. Namaste.

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