Those Dreaded 6 Words

Today my 4-year-old uttered those 6 words, the exact ones I’d been dreading since we started this whole odyssey three years ago:

“I don’t want to go to China.”

Last month he was worried about our house and to who would take care of it while we were in China. During that conversation, I realized that he was more worried about his toys and beloved books, so I assured him that we could take most of our things. That leads to talk about getting new suitcases, which made him very very happy and excited about moving again.

Today he asked where we would live after China. This is the one thing, that question for which I have no answer. A year ago I would have said “California” without a doubt. Since we moved to Orlando, Los Angeles transformed into our “Moscow,” that illusionary place where we’d all be happier. Los Angeles is still a big contender, and Pirate Dude loves visiting there, so he’s okay with that idea.

Just okay, though.

He wants to move back to Florida, and why wouldn’t he? He’s lived here since he was 16 months old. His whole life is here. His friends are here. His school is here. His “places” are here. He knows this place.

I tried to get him excited about another adventure. “We might move to Europe after China!”

“Why?”

“It all depends on where your Daddy and I find our next jobs.”

“Daddy’s job is here.”

Wow. It was hard enough to explain the freelance versus 9-5 lifestyle to my grandparents, never mind a 4-year-old who craves consistency as much as he craves adventure.

I don’t think I satisfied him, but soon after he coughed and said he was too sick to go to school. Then we spent fifteen minutes negotiating where his germs are (“In my body”) and how sick is too sick to go to school and yes, of course your teacher will call me when you feel sick. They always do.

“I need to rest.”

Me too, kid. Me too.

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