The precise moment that it got hard to leave
I was pretty impressed with how easy it had been to leave for Singapore for quite a while. Since making our decision at the beginning of December, things moved pretty smoothly from an emotional perspective until almost the end. I even made it through nearly every part of winding down the job without too much emotional stuff...with ONE exception (and she knows who she is). Even in that instance, the difficulty was because I was making someone I care a lot about very sad. It wasn’t really hard for me to go.
But “almost the end” is not “the end”. We didn’t quite make it there. Here’s the exact moment that it got hard to leave: The casual farewell party that our block threw us the evening before we left Long Island. I like the people that live on our former block a lot. They are very nice. I think we have been good neighbors. The party was great. None of that was why it was hard. The hard part was at the end of the party, when it became time to go home, my oldest child begged to stay. Not at the party; He pleaded to stay in New York. And I had to tell him that was not a thing that could happen.
That was the hardest part of this whole thing. Nothing else comes close. Until that moment, my son had never really voiced displeasure with moving to Singapore. He may have made an off-hand comment here or there about things and people that he would miss, but none of it approached the hysterical pleading that issued from my 6-year-old boy that evening. I certainly did everything in my power to explain to him why this was a good thing for us, and why it was a good thing for him, none of which made a lick of difference to the kid. From his perspective, since the move was a thing that was going to change a lot of other things, it made perfect sense that the move, itself, could be changed, too.
We had a bit more of it the next day when we stopped by our neighbors individually to say goodbye. By the time he was in the car driving away, many of the same themes were sobbing forth.
In my opinion, the only way to handle this is through confidence that one has made the best choice possible in making a move like this one. As I told my son, this move is the best thing that we could do for him and for his sister. He won’t realize this for a while, but I don’t think it can be argued that staying within the Long Island comfort zone compares to this opportunity. Our children’s future is as much a factor in us making this move as our own is, if not more so. I am as sure as I can be at this point in the process that I am right in thinking this.
So this has been the hardest part about leaving for me. It was hard to leave family and friends. I definitely shed some tears when I said my final goodbye to my parents. But adults have agency and understanding that children don’t. The idea that my decisions had hurt my child, even temporarily, was a totally different thing for me and for my own emotions about leaving. It has been the most difficult part of this. I’m just glad that it didn’t really start until we were, for all intents and purposes, already gone.
What have been some of the hardest things you have had to do? How did you manage to do them? Drop me a line or leave a comment below if you have something to say.
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