End of Kindergarten and end of…

Bunky graduated from kindergarten. I can’t believe it. I feel like we just took this picture of her before the first day, all of us so nervous and excited.

me and Bunky first day K

And then, bam. The year’s over. Here she is in her 1950s inspired graduation outfit: a kinda lame homemade poodle skirt, my shirt, a cute scarf from Target.

Kindergarten graduation, June 23, 2014

Kindergarten graduate, 6-23-2014

Graduation, or any public performance, is really hard on our girl. She has debilitating anxiety about being in front of an audience, which is heartbreaking since she loves singing and dancing. (When she got home, she sang me the entire graduation song, “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars, which makes me cry every time I hear it since it was also her preK grad song.) But she made it on stage for her graduation, in front of an enormous room of beaming adults. She ducked down, hiding between the rows of kids, but when I gestured to her from the sidelines, she wouldn’t come to me, and I’m really proud of her for that. My tender, sensitive girl. I hope her anxieties lessen over the years.

After grad, my husband escaped, I mean went to work, and I took the kids to a sprinkler playground. On the way back, Little Guy wriggled out of the stroller so he could walk with his big sister. It’s not the best picture, but it captures a little slice of our city life.

siblings walking

Which I’m rather devastated to say, we will be LEAVING in a matter of weeks.

Yes, that’s right, we’re joining the ranks of city deserters and moving out of Brooklyn. I know it’s the right thing for our family – we need more space, inside and out, and city life is funneling away all our funds, but I have to say I’m really struggling with this upcoming change.

My husband will still be commuting to Brooklyn for his job, so in a way he is only half leaving, but I will be living full time in a town where I know not a soul, in a geography that will be entirely new to navigate. To a woman who craves routine and familiarity (even when it has long stopped serving its purpose) this is HUGE.

I’m excited, too, because the area we’re moving to, New Hope, Pennsylvania, feels like it could very well live up to its name, and we already ate some fantastic gluten free pizza in nearby Doylestown, which may be where we end up, but my heart is already aching for Brooklyn.

There will probably be more frogs there, real ones.

There will probably be more frogs there, real ones.

Part of this is just my personality, all my Cancer crab homebody tendencies. I like to hunker down, I prefer the comfort of my comfort zone. It also makes sense because Brooklyn is not simply a place, but my past. It’s where I spent the careless carefree days of my youth, where I met my husband. It’s where I’ve been raising my children.

me and LG playground

Saying goodbye to Brooklyn is, in a way, like saying goodbye to a part of my life, it’s like saying goodbye to a piece of me.

I did some math recently (crazy, I know) and realized I’ve spent over 13 years living in Brooklyn, the same amount of time I spent in my childhood home from the age of 5 to 18 when I left for college. No wonder this impending move feels so significant.

This isn’t the first time we’ve left Brooklyn. A year after Bunky was born we moved in with my dad in New Jersey to regroup. As hard as it was for us to leave back then, we knew that we were coming back. But this time, we’re not.

Goodbye beloved Vanderbilt Playground where all our monkey bar dreams began

Goodbye beloved Vanderbilt Playground where all our monkey bar dreams began…

I’m starting to feel a sense of urgency and panic, as if I somehow have to squeeze in all the  things I haven’t done yet or recently, before we go. I’m feeling guilty, too, for not taking full advantage of living alongside Manhattan, and for neglecting the wonders Brooklyn has to offer beyond my neighborhood.

Concerts in the park with kids, not all it's cracked up to be.

Concerts in the park with kids, not all it’s cracked up to be. But still, I’ll miss you Prospect Park.

I can hear the clock ticking. Time is running out. Our apartment is in contract (holy crap!) and we haven’t yet found a new place to live (cue hyperventilation here). There are so many logistics to work out when it comes to moving a family – finding doctors, registering for school, sniffing out gluten free grocery stores, seeking out playgrounds, pools, parks, and of course, new friends.

[Pausing here to breath inside a paper bag.]

It will all “work out” as my husband and my brain keeps telling me, but I’m person who shrinks with fear at change, who shudders at novelty, to whom the term limbo is not merely a game to avoid at parties, but a place I try never to visit. Yet here I am LIVING INSIDE IT.

Which is probably good for me, right? To venture outside my comfort zone, to be uncomfortable. Because growth hurts. Kids know this, as their bodies expand at alarming rates, but adults often forget. I’m holding on so tightly right now to everything that I think I need, when maybe what I need to do is simply let go, and see what happens.

Last full day of K. Endings are hard on me, but this kid is psyched for school to be over.

Last full day of K. Endings are hard on me, but this kid is psyched for school to be over.

Recently, I read this wonderful post over at The Gift of Writing about how to maintain positive change, and when she referenced her one word for the year, I realized, with great embarrassment, that I completely forgot about my word for 2014, which was open.

As in, opening up. To possibilities, wonder, vulnerability, presence, heartache, joy. And change.

bunky sprinkler

I feel like the message is clear. I need to stop worrying, struggling, fighting with the invisible demons that perch on my shoulder and whisper sly lies in my ear about how this move is a huge mistake, and that we’d better to stay put, not move at all, because staying perfectly still keeps you safe.

bunky riding bike 2013

Which is one of the biggest lies you can tell yourself.

Leaving Brooklyn is an end, but I’ll keep reminding myself that it’s also a beginning.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress/pilgrimage, but if I go dark for a little while this summer you’ll know why. Until then, please share any moving moving stories you have! (No pressure, but happy endings preferred, ha.) 

 

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12 thoughts on “End of Kindergarten and end of…

  1. As a fellow Cancer, I totally hear you. I had another friend recently migrate from Brooklyn to the Bronx, and that move was tremendously hard for her. This post made me tear up- especially the part about your daughter. I too have a slightly anxious, sensitive girl. (Hmmm, maybe we Cancers breed them?) Sending love and positive energy as you work through all those hard, necessary life lessons! xo (And thank you for your comment on my post today- it meant the world to me!)

    • Thank you so much Stephanie! It must be us Cancer crabs creating these overly sensitive creatures. My husband and I (both super sensitive souls) wondered, how did we make these ultra tender kids? And then we looked at each other and realized, what other kind could we have made?! Poor Bunky, she is definitely needing some assistance with her anxiety, and it is super heartbreaking for me and my husband.

      Loved your post today, as was probably obvious from my comment 🙂

  2. I’m also preparing for a move, so I know some of the anxiety that comes with all the details (and finding a new apartment!). Good luck in your search, and may your new home be filled with gluten free options!

  3. Hi Dana,
    Congratulations on Bunky’s Kindergarten and your upcoming move! Change is good and it sounds like you know it will be best for your family. I hope that your move goes as smoothly as possible.
    We have made the decision to move too! Next summer we will be moving 1300 miles back to Boston to be near family (kids will be 9, 7, 6, and 3 at this point)….although I am stressed by everything the move will entail, and we are comfortable in WI, in my heart I know it is the right decision.
    W
    ill be thinking of you in upcoming weeks.
    Jess

    • Hey Jess, thanks so much! Wow, a trip from Wisconsin to Boston is big, what an adventure. I have friends in Boston and they love it, but definitely a big change. Nice to be close to family, though. I’ll be sending you good moving thoughts next year, and will let you know how ours goes in the coming – weeks – gulp!

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