After six years of traveling for cello, my husband and I decided it was time to move.
Well, time for me and the kids to move. I still have no idea what my husband will do.
In hindsight, the reason it has taken me so long to write about moving is that I had to be in denial about moving in order to move. I moved with nothing because I told myself we will go back to the farm a lot.
We aren’t doing that. And somewhere in the back of my head I probably knew that. But it’s too sad for me.
Most things that are really hard to do, I have to not think about in order to do them. Launching a company, for instance. Having children. Even homeschooling. Each time I told myself it wouldn’t be as hard as people say it is. Denial is a powerful tool for productivity.
Now we are moved. Sort of. We have boxes where the sofa should be. I have to put something there so I don’t feel like the apartment will never look right. And we have been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for five days. We ate so much meat on the farm that I think the kids think the PB&J’s are not so much the doldrums of moving but rather part of our adventure in city living.
Our landlord said a lot of people asked to rent our apartment so they could use the address for the school district: Swarthmore-Wallingford.
When I told people we live on a farm and homeschool, people assumed our school district was terrible. When I tell people in Swarthmore we are homeschooling they ask why, as in: “Will you put the kids in school for middle school?”
Parents worry that I’m ruining my kids by denying them entrance to this wonderful school system. And I probably fuel that worry by telling them we unschool and the kids only learn what they want to learn.
So I tell people I don’t believe in school.
No one asks why. They just think I’m stupid.
When people ask me why we moved I tell them the kids need to be able to do things on their own. On the farm, we’re so far from everything that the kids couldn’t do anything by themselves. Now they go to tutors on their own, they walk to lessons on their own, they can go to the grocery store on their own.
Research published in the Atlantic says American parents overvalue independence. But I don’t think American farm families do.
When my son made a friend, and they walked away together, I realized my son had never even crossed a street without a grownup. He never had occasion to. And maybe that’s reason enough to move.