Today, it finally happened. All of the nerves, excitement, sadness, and general sense of being overwhelmed hit my 7-year-old son smack in the heart. It came out of no where. 5 minutes into on our daily walk to school, he looked up to me and my husband and said, “I feel like crying, but I don’t know why.” And then the tears came and would not stop.
After eventually getting him to school and (2 books in the hallway later) into his classroom, we went about our day. But the day was off in every way. All I could think about was the sad boy who couldn’t quite pin point why he was so devastatingly sad. Serious sadness calls for serious measures, so today turned into ‘Operation Cheer Felix Up’ day.
I worked a half day and went with Aaron to pick up Felix from school. From that moment on, Felix picked everything. Ice Cream, stuffed animal tag, Chipotle for dinner, an evening at the playground, more stuffed animal tag, and even a bit of homework (his choice). I realized I couldn’t remember the last time Felix had a day where we did everything he wanted, or even had a chance to have options. We have been 100% focused on packing, preparing, and praying for the move that we failed to maintain a higher level of normalcy for a kid who knows nothing other than our 2 bedroom apartment, his friends, and our life in California. Instead of spending every weekend at the beach, he has been spending every weekend watching our stuff get sold/donated/placed into boxes and shoved to the corner.
As an adult, one of the most complicated feelings is the sad/excited hybrid. I feel it more than I would like too, especially with this move where we are deciding to actively flip our lives and everything we know upside down. I can’t possibly expect my 7-year-old to understand those feelings, let alone articulate them. When we mentioned we have those same feelings – I spent almost all of yesterday on the verge of crying for no particular reason (OK, maybe finishing 13 Reasons Why on Netflix played a part) – Felix was shocked. He hadn’t been able to articulate feeling both sad and excited at the same time because he didn’t know that was an option. Sad to move away from a great school, even better friends, and the only place he’s ever known. Excited for new friends, a dream house, space to run, and close to his grandparents and cousins.
Change. It’s a lot. But I promise, it is so worth it.