“My dears, the time has come to move.” I still remember the line from The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day book that was given to us by the moving company taking us from coast to coast. It was a delightful story to share with my boys and we read it countless times.
Over a decade later, here we are moving again, not so far this time, but still a significant move nonetheless. My boys have outgrown The Berenstain Bears, but it is me who keeps thinking back to that beloved children’s book. “The time has come to move.”
Moving brings with it all sorts of emotions. Let’s turn to a conversation between Brother Bear and Mama Bear for one example: “And what about my friends?” asked Brother. “We can’t put them in a box and take them along!”
“That’s true” said Mama, lifting Brother onto her lap. “You’ll be leaving your friends behind. Papa and I will, too. That’s what happens when you move. But you can keep in touch with them. You can write, even visit perhaps. And besides, you can make lots of new friends.”
Perhaps, in today’s age keeping in touch with old friends is arguably easy with email, texting and, dare I say it, Facebook. But picking up the phone is still the most meaningful and fulfilling. Talking to an old friend, hearing his or her voice, can be so uplifting and energizing.
And what about finding new friends? Well, children meet classmates at their new school and make friends rather easily, or so we hope. But what about all the mothers? Making friendly connections can happen in a variety of places: the neighborhood park, the masjid, the school parking lot, the gym, the library, and the list goes on. Mothers simply need to get out more and make an effort to engage in conversation with others.
Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zones and try something new: signing up for a class or a starting a new hobby. Moving can trigger new beginnings, and help our own personal development to propel forward.
And yes, it will take time to feel settled and establish a sense of belonging. An old friend once told me not to judge a city as a place to live until I’ve lived there for two years. Come to think of it, I should give her a call.
Hebba is a Canadian mother of two boys and lives in Oakville, Ontario. She is a passionate Montessorian and is currently working at an Islamic elementary school.