Sherilee and I have created a blog challenge! We’ve both been slacking on posting regularly to our blogs, so our goal is to post every day this month. We’ll write fun/interesting lists, tell some tales, share recipes, and more. Can we do it? I think we can! We’re starting with this topic:
Did you move many times as a child? How did that impact you, and does it still influence how you see the world today?
Jack asked me the other day how many places I’d lived, and then got bored before I was out of high school. The kids get a look on their faces when Victor or I start waxing nostalgic, like I’VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE, and if we notice (which isn’t always, much to the kids’ dismay) we leave out most the details and stop talking.
So… I’m not gonna go through the list of every place I’ve ever lived, and I’m gonna define “child” in the above question as the years before I started college. That will shorten the post considerably.
- I don’t remember living in the house in which I was born, but I visited it later because we knew the people who bought it.
- The first house I remember was on Miracle Lane, in Medford, and we lived there until I was six-ish. I’m still in touch with some of the people we knew in that neighborhood. We lived in an apartment in Medford for a bit, too, before we moved to Portland.
- When I was seven years old, we left our extended family in Southern Oregon and moved to Portland. We bought a new house in the Bethany area of Beaverton and I went to the public school for three years. My parents divorced during that time and Dad moved out. We stayed in the house another three-ish years—and I transferred to an SDA school—until Mom got remarried and we moved to the Walla Walla area.
- We lived in a house in College Place for a year and a half; I went to two schools during that time. I got fed up with my step-dad’s complete jackassitude and, after ninth grade, moved back to Portland to try living with my dad.
- We lived in a high-rise apartment building in downtown Portland. I thought it was pretty cool, being one of the few kids who lived in the building. I attended the same SDA school I had been at before.
- After a year I moved on to the SDA high school in SE Portland. Dad decided we should live closer to the school, and we were there for two years until I graduated and left for college. Dad was really happy to see me go. Not like my friend Stephanie’s dad when she left for college, but close.
As far as impacting how I view the world today, I feel like it wasn’t moving that made such a difference as it was changing schools. I didn’t like being the new kid, not knowing anyone and feeling lonely and lost. Adjusting to each new school’s rules was less than fun. Going from a public school to a conservative SDA school was a culture shock in many ways, but then I went to a different SDA school that required girls to wear dresses every day—that was like going back in time a few decades. Sheesh.
Something else that was difficult about going to new SDA schools is that I was always lumped in with the other “divorce kids.” There was such a stigma back then (in Adventist circles). Some teachers would “tsk tsk” when they saw us; others would avoid us. A few were downright mean. (Isn’t that strange? It’s hard to believe life was like that and that we tolerated it.) But there were also the kind, accepting, nurturing grown-ups who knew that “divorce kids” couldn’t help being “divorce kids.” They made school a nice place to grow and learn.
My kids have lived in one house their entire lives, and have only switched schools when they’ve grown out of them. Staying in one place was never intentional, exactly, but since we haven’t been interested much in moving anywhere else, it’s how things have worked out for us. I’m glad Katie and Jack have that stability, even if they don’t yet realize its benefits.
One last itty-bitty comment:
I’m still in touch with friends from all of the different times (and locations) in my life, partly thanks to Facebook, but mostly just because I met some really great people over the years. While I admit that I wish life had gone a little differently at times, I’m grateful for the goodness that has come of these experiences, and the people who have stuck by me and stayed in my life. I know not everyone feels blessed by such a thing, but I definitely do.
If you’re a blogger and want to do our blog challenge with us, let me know and I’ll send you our list! Otherwise, tune in here (and on Sherilee’s happy little blog) every day in September!