When we first brought up the possibility of our Australia adventure, the kids' initial responses were pretty characteristic of their personalities.
Lauren: Cool! When do we find out for sure? Can I come? Can I have one of our cars here at university?
Maddy: (in the middle of G's sentence "my company has an opportunity in Australia-"): YES! Let's do it!
Sam: (quiet, measured look on his face): Hmmm. I don't know. I'll have to think about it.
Keep in mind that we have always talked about how great it would be to live abroad as a family. And that we love to travel and have tried to emphasize experiences over things. On top of all that, we have a pretty strong lineage of wanderlust and adventuring. So, while this opportunity came kind of out of the blue, the concept is not too earthshattering for our offspring.
Even so, as we've absorbed the reality of the enormity of this change, of course all of our initial responses have gone through stages of both tempering and leavening. Sam has gradually warmed to the idea and now is enthused and even predicts he'll want to stay through high school. Lauren remains upbeat and inquisitive but I'm sure she has moments when it feels like we'll be far away (I know I do).* Maddy has had some sad moments of leaving-itis (e.g., student body elections for next year) sprinkled amidst her excitement. She kindly demonstrated the progression of her emotions:
As I told my parents and sibs recently, it definitely feels like that metaphoric roller coaster ride, complete with adrenaline and the occasional leaden lurching stomach. Weeee...oh no no no....weee! But it will be good, all in all. We'll learn a lot, explore new things, and figure out everything else. Mostly we feel upbeat**, encouraged, and calm in the knowledge that no matter what, we have each other. That will stay the same.
. . .
** How can you not feel upbeat about Australia when you listen to this?