We have moved many times in the last 10 years and every time it’s been a struggle to meet new friends and develop some sort of feeling of belonging. For sure some places were easier than others, but in every case it was about two years before we felt like we were beginning to have some kind of sense of having a life there. Interestingly, in Quebec it happened faster and in Virginia it was much slower.
This move home is different from the other moves in that, well, it is home. But still we have been gone 10 years. I am lucky because I have family here and all my childhood friends. For the kids, it’s a little tougher. They’re still the new kids even though they see people they know all the time and have a strong sense of belonging.
Today Jenna went to a birthday party and I was at the door talking to the mom. She leads Jenna’s VBS group so I’d chatted with her before but never really had a conversation. She welcomed Jenna in and after talking to me for a couple of minutes said she’d love to go out for coffee with me sometime because she knows what it’s like to be new in town and how difficult it is to meet people. I explained to her that this was our move home to where we belonged and that we had family and friends around, but that I would love to get together with her and get to know her better. She’s a horse person so you know it’s a friendship made in heaven.
I was thinking after though, what an act of kindness. Having moved to an area where we were not welcomed at all and where no effort was made to get to know us (the onus in this area was on us to constantly be the ones reaching out), how lovely to have someone reach out because they know the feeling of being new.
That was my happiness moment for the day. An act of kindness by hopefully a soon to be friend.
This happiness moment was followed up by taking Jacob out for gelato and running into my cousin sitting kicking a fine with her kids. Impromptu visit. Awesome. And yes, we also went to Mackay’s for ice cream yesterday. It’s summer and 30C out. It was heart happy.
Jacob told me on the way home how he feels so grounded and safe here. We all need to be safe and secure.