The other day I was cleaning out my Downloads folder and came across notes for a paper by Angel Face. I liked it so much I asked to post it here, and she agreed. I knew that moving to Wisconsin and leaving their friends behind was hard on the kids, but I never realized how hard it was…
Taken the morning we left: Jenny, Angel Face & Grandma N, Jo-Bear & College Boy, Princess & Kodee. Justin wouldn’t come for the picture.
Laughter filled the room as we all sat around the table finishing up our brunch. I felt as if nothing could bring me down, until I remembered that today was the day I moved away from Michigan to some place called Wisconsin. My whole life so far I had spent my summer days swimming in the lake, camping with my grandparents, and playing with my best friends. All of that was about to change, however, because it was moving day.
Earlier that morning I had woken up before the sun rose. I refused to try to go back to sleep, I was too excited. I jumped out of my sleeping bag and found two last outfits that weren’t packed yet. The boxes were already in a van on its way to our new home by Grandma and Grandpa Hintz. I was excited to get to see them again.
Spring Lake, Michigan. Coffee cake for brunch. End of summer. Moving day. Spilled apple juice on my already mismatched outfit. Wore little mermaid skirt and Justin’s shirt until my clothes were washed and dried. At my best friends house. Preschool aged. Played with Peaches, the orange tabby.
Swinging. Basement playroom. Toys that spin when you sit on them. Last day with Justin. Sad. Curly dirty blonde hair. Smelled like boy. Only boy who didn’t have cooties. My best friend. 10 minutes until I had to leave. Forever. Time to start cleaning.
What a joke. Made a bigger mess. Didn’t want to leave. Ever. “Princess” and Jenny came down. They yelled at us. We kept playing. They got mom. I hid. In the toy box. Justin covered me with toys so they would never find me.
Mom came down. Justin is a bad liar. I jump out of the toy box and run outside. Nowhere to hide out there. Oops. Run back in. Hide in a closet. I want to stay. I hear footsteps. I hold my breath. It’s only Justin. And his mom.
Time to actually clean. That means leaving soon. I start to cry. Justin hugs me and I feel better. Best friends forever. Even when I move to Wisconsin. WI is really far away. I might never see him again. I cry even harder. I don’t want to leave my best friend. What if the kids in Wisconsin have claws? I don’t like making new friends. Or leaving old ones. One last goodbye hug. Off on a new adventure. Without my best friend.
I get in the car and buckle up. Wave goodbye as we drive away. At the end of the street I start to cry. So does “Princess.” We cry until we fall asleep. We wake up in Wisconsin at our new house that smells like old feet and cabbage. Our new adventure.
Reading this just kills me, even though I know she made new friends the first day we arrived. I can’t leave it like this, so I’ve got to add a little P.S. to her story…
It was the first day in Wisconsin. I knew the kids were both excited about their new house and sad about leaving their friends in Michigan. I knew exactly how they were feeling – I was excited about moving back to my hometown and finally owning a home instead of renting, but I was also sad about leaving my friends in Michigan and feeling very guilty that the kids were sad.
There wasn’t much for the kids to do while we were unpacking, so when they asked if they could walk up and down the block I said “Sure” – secretly hoping they’d meet some new friends. Time passed and suddenly I realized I hadn’t seen Angel Face for a while. Concerned, but not panicked, I walked through the house, basement to upstairs, peeking into every closet. No Angel Face. I looked in the front yard, back yard and garage. No Angel Face. I stood on the sidewalk and looked up the street both ways. No Angel Face.
That’s when I started to panic.
Oh my god Amy, how stupid are you? How could you let your five year old walk up and down the block in a strange place all by herself? What were you thinking?!” I berated myself as I started walking up the sidewalk, head swiveling side to side as I searched for any sign of her.
Finally, waaaaaay at the other end of our double-long block I spotted two little girls sitting on a blanket in the grass. Is it? I think… I heard laughing and recognized her giggle. Yes! It IS her! Relief flooded my body when I realized she was safe and sound. “Whatcha doin’?” I asked casually, hiding the emotional roller coaster I’d just been on.
“This is my new friend, MacKensie. Her mom said we could play out here.” She smiled innocently up at me and my heart melted. “Hello, MacKensie, nice to meet you.” I said to the other girl. MacKensie’s sparkling blue eyes and sleek dark brown hair made a pretty contrast with Angel Face’s big brown eyes and fluffy light brown hair and my thoughts jumped to the futures for a moment, We’ll have to beat the boys off with a stick when these girls grow up.
Coming back to the present I said “I’m glad you made a new friend sweetie, but you HAVE to let me know where you are; I was scared when I couldn’t find you. Okay?”
“”Okay,” she agreed, “Can I stay a little longer?”
“Sorry hon, but it’s almost suppertime. You can play again tomorrow… And the next day, and the next day, and the NEXT day!”
“Okay!” she said, standing up and taking the hand I held out to her. “See you tomorrow!” she called over her shoulder, skipping next to me as we returned to our new home.
Angel Face and MacKensie; still best friends years later.