Balancing Act

Even a good move can trigger surprising regrets

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Moving day issues

Moving day issues (Blend Images/via Getty Images / August 29, 2011)

"What a gift that dad gave his son," Faber told me. "The understanding that you can have two completely contradictory feelings at the same time, and each can be real and legitimate."

What a gift, indeed. And what a thing to remember when our kids' reactions leave us baffled.

So I resisted the urge to remind my daughter how many days and ways she begged to move even sooner than we did. I didn't bring up my son's birthday wish or his countless pleas for his own room — a boy's room, where his Ninja Turtles would no longer suffer the indignity of sharing shelf space with American Girl dolls.

I stopped myself from saying all the stupid things that popped into my head, which were mostly variations on "You said you wanted this!" and, even more cringe-worthy, "Do you know how hard I worked at this?"

Because the truth is they do want this, even in the moments they don't. And they don't need to know how hard I worked. They need to know I love them — under any roof and any circumstances and with any number of contradictory feelings shooting out of their little mouths.

And when I ran out of ways to say all of that, I resorted to another line from that dad, a line I'll be pulling out of my back pocket a lot in these coming weeks of chaos and clutter and, inevitably, crying.

"I'm glad you told me."

And I am.

hstevens@tribune.co

Twitter @heidistevens13

Loving a new place doesn't mean you don't long for the old place.

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