On Friday I learned that my closest family friend is moving away from Chicago. Karen is my third friend in the last few weeks that has told me she was moving. My three friends are heading off to Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington. I’m devastated. I know I’m supposed to write about Happy Moving, but there’s so much sadness that comes with moving, too. I’m going to miss my friends. A lot.
Karen and I met at baby boot camp when my oldest was seven months old. We made the typical new mom small talk, “How old is your baby? Where do you live?” It turned out Karen lived right across the street from me. We’ve been the closest of friends ever since that day over eleven years ago.
There are certain relationships that you can never replicate – like that friend you’ve known since elementary school or your college roommate or the friend you raised your kids with. Neither Karen nor I have family in the Chicago area so we’ve always depended on each other for moral support through those fun, crazy, and stressful times of raising our babies.
We also do everything on the exact same schedule. Our daughters were born one month apart. Then, a year and a half later, our sons were born two months apart. Then, we both listed our homes for sale, had a baby, sold our homes and moved within weeks of each other. I headed to Knoxville, TN while Karen moved elsewhere in Chicago. Karen went on to have another child while I cheered her on for being the most incredible mom ever. Then, we both moved again to new homes, my move bringing me back to the Chicago area.
The Process Was a Long One, But Then It Happened So Fast.
Moving is an emotional roller coaster and I’ve been along for Karen’s ride. Her husband has been looking for a job for some time, so I knew there might be a possibility they would leave Chicago. However, he had solid opportunities close to home, so I remained optimistic. When Seattle was on the table in a serious way, I panicked. Then I got a text from Karen last week saying they had decided against moving to Washington. Phew. We dodged a bullet with that one.
Then, two days later, everything changed. After some deep soul-searching and evaluating all of his many offers, Karen and her husband decided they couldn’t turn down this job opportunity. He would have an incredible career in a vibrant city where he would be able to spend more time with his family. In the end, this was the best decision for their family as a whole.
My Friend Is Moving and I Don’t Want Her to Go.
Selfishly, I want them to stay. Our kids, our husbands, me and Karen – we’re all best of friends. This is a loss for my entire family. Some very important people will be missing at birthday sleepovers. The kids probably won’t be returning to the sleepaway camp where they went for the past three years. The family trips to the lake won’t be so easy anymore. It’s hard to imagine life without them nearby.
On the plus side, because there’s always a plus side, I believe Karen’s family will ultimately be happier in Seattle with the new job. This job opportunity will offer them a better quality of life and they deserve that – a happy dad who loves his job and more time for them to be together as a family. That’s the most important thing and we’re excited for them.
How I’m Coping With the Fact that My Friend is Moving
Immediately after hearing the news and bursting into tears and consoling my friend and consoling myself, I went into planning mode. I researched sleepaway camps in Seattle so that our kids can still have their special summer memories together. Not to pressure Karen or anything, but I’m awaiting confirmation on dates. I have a feeling she’s got a lot going on right now, though.
We broke the news to our kids and planned ways for the kids to keep in touch. My daughter requested new stationary to write letters and my son is imagining the hours of Roblox he’ll play online so he can chat with his friend. My youngest daughter said she would help them find a house because she loves looking at real estate in other cities. (The apple doesn’t fall far).
I’m going to be there for Karen for anything she needs. Her husband will move in one month. She has some time to figure out how to move with her four children and whether to move during the school year or in the summer. Fortunately, I think she’s pretty tight with a moving expert who would love to help her declutter, pack, research neighborhoods or schools, and go out for a girls’ night out when she needs one.
There is a Silver Lining In All of This.
My friend is moving. I’m sad, but it’s not all bad. My family is so proud of Karen’s husband for landing this amazing job. We’re all excited to see what incredible things the kids do out west, because we know there are so many fun adventures waiting for them. I’ve never been to Seattle before, so now I have a new place to visit. There’s no doubt that many family trips and girls’ trips are in our future. I’m really happy for Karen and her family that they are making this move. However, I do have one last concern. Karen and I seem to do everything on the same schedule, so I’m not sure what that means for us.
You Will Be Missed.
To my three friends who are moving away from Chicago soon, I will miss you all so much. I wish we had spent more time together and that we had made the most of living close together. I tried but, now that you’re leaving, it doesn’t seem like enough. Please visit often, post on Facebook a lot, text pictures of your kids, and let’s plan many girls’ weekends. Good luck with your move and, obviously, you know I’m here to help. xoxox