My mom and I were sitting on the steps going to our front door on a warm day in June when the movers arrived to pack up our belongings. After talking to us for a short while, they joked: “Which one is the mother? Which one is the daughter?” Mom was amused and flattered. I certainly was not amused. Nor had I been amused for months prior to this day.

Moving to a different town and school wasn’t what Margie Thumm had envisioned for her senior year, but her mother and father took steps to address the disruption it would cause. Photo courtesy of Margie Thumm

Here I was, going into my senior year of high school, facing a move to a different school and town. I had been a cheerleader had been looking forward to being on the varsity squad again my last year. This move was nothing I was cheering about.

We had sat down as a family several months earlier to discuss Dad’s change in jobs. No amount of tears or pleading with Dad to let me stay with my friend’s family for my senior year would change his position that we were moving as a family, and that included me.

Mom put me in charge of unpacking and organizing the kitchen in our new home. In retrospect, she was smart to give me a responsible job which kept me busy and feeling somewhat important. She changed none of my kitchen arrangement until after I went off to college the following year.

Perks of the move came for me in several ways. They weren’t so strict on my curfew. I was going to get a set of bedroom furniture instead of the olio of pieces that I had had up until that time. Mom asked me to look for furniture and come home with information on what I found. Off I went, on my own, in the family car to investigate the options. A new freedom. Dad and Mom painted my bedroom the shade of blue I had selected for the walls. My brother and I planned and fixed the meals for everyone while they worked. More leeway in the kitchen and food preparation, even if it was with my younger brother.

I survived the move, though it was challenging for everyone involved. Years later, I came across notes that Dad had written in preparing to talk about the move. I was heartened to read of his awareness and concern for the disruption it was going to cause me as well as the rest of us.

Almost 60 years later, I can look back on that move with the perspective of life. I believe the move changed how I dealt with the challenges that came along in my life, I could and would survive upheavals. Reaching out to make new friends was a skill I honed, along with being a better organizer and smart shopper. Though I didn’t like that move as a high school senior, I learned to move on in life knowing that pleasant surprises often appear.

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