Ever since my daughter was little, she has had a hard time dealing with change. If you move something in her room, she will freak out and be unable to go on with life until everything is back in it’s place. I’ve learned that in order to make any changes in her room or around the house I have to have a conversation with her about it first. I tell her what I plan on moving and make sure she’s okay with it to avoid any emotional breakdowns. Usually talking to her about things will help her process the change and she is able to accept it.
Last night, Tony decided to take the photos down from the hallway wall. As soon as Gabby realized what he had done, she began to cry. “I’m used to seeing those pictures when I wake up! Put them back!” Followed by the Very Dramatic “I DON’T WANT TO MOVE!” I asked Tony to put the photos back up and let HER decide when she was ready to take them down. He wasn’t happy about it, but I told him we need to let her have some control over when we take things down so it’s easier for her to accept and deal with.
I stayed up and talked with her about The Move. I told her it’s okay to cry, to feel sad. Leaving a place you’ve called home is hard. I explained that memories don’t live in a building, but in our hearts. “We will take the memories with us and we’re going to make many wonderful memories in our new house!” She didn’t say much, she just listened. I kissed her good night. And braced myself for more tears in the morning.
This morning as we were cuddling on the couch, she informed me that she was ready to take the pictures down. Totally caught off guard, I asked her if she was sure. “Yes, I’m sure!” I then told her that once we took the pictures down, we weren’t going to be able to put them back up. She thought about it for a minute or two. And then replied “I’m sure Mommy, let’s do this!”
I took the pictures down and let her wrap them with newspaper. As we did this, we talked about what we will miss about this house when we leave, but also about what we’re looking forward to at the new place. Not a single tear was shed. When we were finished, she surprised me yet again.
“I’m ready to take the pictures in my bedroom down now, Mom!” And then she went on and on about how she can’t wait to decorate her new room! And play in her new backyard! And set up the vanity in my new bathroom! And so! many! fun! new! things!
Today was a good day.