11 year old on moving day

Moving Day: Part 2

This story is a reverse perspective follow-up from Moving Day Part 1. Read Part 1 Here.

I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw him peering out the window as everything he knew grew smaller with each passing street lamp. That was six hours ago. I wonder if he’s seeing what lies ahead.

It’s been a quiet ride. Every twenty miles or so we look at each other and smile. It’s the kind of smile you sort of force to make the other person think you’ve got everything under control.

The decisions a father has to make can be a heavy load. I feel like I’ve done everything in my power to choose well, but there’s still that thing deep down in my belly that nags at me. Especially when I see them hurting, grasping for some assurance that things will work on the other side.
He’s been tough through this. I know he’s trying to trust me… trust the process. I’m proud of how he is becoming a little man.

We’re a lot alike, the boy and I. I remember being his age and struggling with major life changes. For me it was the divorce of my parents. I remember when they told me that things would be better. I felt like they didn’t understand what I really wanted: stability, hope, home. Maybe he feels like I don’t understand him. I know how hard it is for him to leave his home, I really do. That’s what makes this so hard!

Eleven years seems like a week these days, but for him it is a lifetime. A lifetime of stomping on HIS ground and being the king of HIS domain. A lifetime of exploring HIS town and choosing HIS friends. He probably feels like his life is over and tomorrow he will wake up to start all over again. I know that’s how I would feel if I were eleven watching those trees fly by.

He’s staring at the sunset now. That horizon must look so unfamiliar to him. He must feel so alone, helpless even. He probably feels like he’s forced to live a life he did not choose. I wish I knew what I could say to give him hope.

He’s peering out the window at a sky that is unfamiliar to him, a Friday evening sun that probably feels like it’s not just marking the end of a day, but the end of a life… an 11-year life that will fade away as a new day begins. If only he could know that the sun rises every day. Change is nothing new. Change never takes a break. It’s how we embrace and manage it that determines our experience.

His eyes look so sleepy. He will be out soon. I pray for God to silence the chaos in his head. My highest hope is that he will dream of tomorrow and see what it holds: new hope, new possibility, new opportunity. 

Good night, son. Tomorrow is a new day.