It was another unseasonably warm winter day. I bundled my 2-year-old up and we were off to visit one of our favorite Indianapolis spots: The Indiana State Museum. I was greeted with a warm smile at the front desk by a familiar face as I dug my membership card and ID out of my bag. She waved my drivers license away and laughed as she said: “Oh I know you two, you should apply to work here!” (I did mention it was one of our favorite spots, didn’t I?) I chuckled as I replied, ” I would love to but actually we are moving.”
It was the first time I had said those words to a practical stranger and as the words left my mouth an uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. The thought of our move was becoming a reality and it pitted itself right in my abdomen.
We had originally moved here for my husband’s job and his job is now taking us to the city of his home office in just a couple of short months. The opportunity had come suddenly and also with a lot of moving parts so I hadn’t had a chance to process it or talk with anyone about it either. Seeing how I didn’t grow up in Indianapolis and have only been here 4 years (two years of which I was homesick – which you can read about here.) I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss this city.
I remember a specific moment when my son was just months old and I was tethered to my breast pump at 2AM (as most exclusive pumpers are). I sat there crying a prayer to please make Indianapolis feel like home. To help me build a community for my son. I had grown up in a town with a population of around 1,600 people, a town that was half the size of some of this city’s high schools. The whole town watched you grow up. If you didn’t know their name they were at least a familiar face. And I was desperate to find some of that connection in this big city for myself and my son. I can tell you God sure did show up and show out in answering that prayer. There wasn’t a park we didn’t explore, a storytime we didn’t attend, or a museum we didn’t visit. My toddler and I tried to cover just about every inch of this city as we grew in our bond with each other and our new home. There were small glimpses of his connection to his city shown to me daily. It was shown with his favorite Children’s Museum worker who would go out of his way to greet my son and taught him how to exchange a fist bump for hello or goodbye. It’s the way when I ask what he wants to do today half of the time he says storytime with Ms. Kathleen, his favorite librarian. He had made his very own first best friends and I finally had mom friends in the area. Slowly but surely one of my greatest fears as I entered motherhood “How will I make this huge city that I don’t know feel like a community and home to my son?” was a distant memory. We had built it.
Will it be easy to say goodbye to all of this? To say farewell to the foundation we have laid and the memories we have made here? To my son’s first home, the only place he has known? No. Leaving Indianapolis will feel like leaving an old friend. But as the saying goes… home is where you make it. I am hoping to take the lessons I have learned here and the momentum that has been building to our next city and start making a home for our family there. I am excited to see what is in store for our little family. If you are a mom in a new city I encourage you to go out and see what’s out there for you and your family. Make a bucket list of things to do and see in your city that match your family’s interests and check them off as often as you can. This also works if you are a mom and have been living in your city all of your life but are feeling like you are alone or that you don’t have a tribe. I promise you, you are not. There is a mom out there searching for that community too. Go find her.
Here is to our next adventure.