On the move

Moving is on my mind these days, and not only because of the column on that topic that my cohort columnist wrote last week.

This move isn’t mine, though, but someone in my family who is moving to another state. A cold northern state at that, and he’s heading there in February, so you know that they have to be excited about this dream job waiting for him. But for me this is the definition of bittersweet.

It’s already happened to my other child, so I should be used to it. And I will be.

As any parent of 20-somethings knows, that’s usually a very transitional decade of life. And that often means multiple moves. I’ve been in on those, too, but thankfully I now function mostly in a support role on moving day. That involves bringing food for the moving crew, which I can do.

I moved around a lot when I was in my 20s, when I lived in four states plus Iowa. During a few of those years I remember that I could move all of my worldly goods inside my car, back when four of my prized possessions were a tuner, a turntable, and two speakers. Eventually that equipment had many miles on it, but it was always carefully loaded, unloaded, and first to be set up so I could have some tunes while getting unpacked.

Moving becomes more involved the older we get and the more possessions we acquire, of course. Mobility doesn’t come as easily when we have more goods, but that’s okay because if you’re lucky by then there are ties that hold you to the place thanks to the friends you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had. So you don’t really care to move.

It used to be in our farming communities that a family lived on the same farm for generations, so moving wasn’t as much of an issue as it is now in our mobile society. Moving happened when a son or daughter got married and moved to a neighboring farm, or perhaps the parents moved to a smaller house so that the young couple could move into the main house.

You know, that system doesn’t sound so bad to me right now, much better than having children live in another state. Yet we all must make our own way in this world. We want our children to live their lives, to pursue their dreams, to find out for themselves what’s out there.

Once again, it’s time to get my head and my heart to agree.