I had a post all written and scheduled to go live listing all the things I’m thankful for. And then I learned, totally unexpectedly, that my son and his family are going to move far away. Well, I guess “far” is relative but instead of a two hours drive, it will be twelve. Anyway, all thankfulness just disappeared and I erased the post.

They have not yet found jobs and there was no talk of exactly WHERE they are going to live when they move, but they are moving. Since I’m always really, really scared of everything, I plan and plan and plan so that I can have fewer unexpected things go wrong. Still, things go wrong, but usually I have backup plans for my backup plans.

My son has always been more the seat of his pants kind of person. I don’t know if he is thinking this through to the detail level I would prefer but certainly that has never happened in the past, so probably not.

My three grandchildren will no longer be an excruciatingly boring and often repeated car ride away. Instead they will be a long and boring drive through the mountains and over the hills and across the river and all that stuff. I’m trying not to cry about that. I was lucky they were close for this long. I don’t feel very lucky right now.

We almost always go THERE now because the one thing I’m best at in all of life is catastrophizing. I am scared nearly to a catatonic state by worrying about insisting that anyone come HERE and then get into a car wreck on the way or on the way home. That’s with a two drive. I don’t know if I could live with myself if I insisted that they visit here and then something happened on the trip. I know I never sleep when they make the drive up there to the other family – like my staying awake and worrying will somehow keep them safe.

I have no idea how I got these fearless children, but both of my sons take risks that are nearly beyond my comprehension. I’m proud of them and I envy their devil may care attitude. Usually. Right now I’m just trying not to cry.

Flying there is nearly as long as driving because there are no direct flights to anywhere but Atlanta or Charlotte from this dinky airport. So every flight involves layovers and sometimes the joys of missing connections or delays are just icing on the cake. And the expense isn’t minimal, either.

So, I might get to see them once a year. Maybe. Probably. Surely. I don’t get much vacation time but maybe I’m closer to retiring than I think. But what would I do in retirement? Certainly, even less now than before.

What are the kids (who are much older than kids, but still …) getting themselves into? They go there at least once a year now. In fact, I’ve lamented (without much effect) that they travel the 12 hour trip more frequently than they make a two hour trip. But when they are there, they are on vacation. When they move, it won’t be vacation anymore. It will just be.

My son’s reasons, as listed by him, were mostly economic in nature. He believes, correctly or not, that his chances for a better job are THERE and it may be true. He also mentioned that the environment was better THERE for his children, which may or may not be true. He did not list familial reasons, but I know that his why his wife wants to move. I’m trying to be generous because I know the kids will still have grandparents where they go, but I’m too bereft right now to be so kind. I hope I can get there soon.

I keep saying the Serenity Prayer to myself. There is nothing in this choice I can change. I’m not even sure I would if I could. I’m sad and scared but I’m nearly always scared. It is what I do best. There doesn’t seem to have been enough planning.

I would feel better if there were jobs lined up instead of knowing that the unemployment rate is higher than the national average. But my son is skilled labor and his wife is talented. Together, they might be able to pull this off with a lot more élan and there is a chance they could both be quite successful in this endeavor.

Since I can change none of it, I need only to come to terms with my new reality and accept it. As gracefully as possible.

serenity_prayer

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