ChildHood – Installment V

Allrighty-O! ( <– no idea where that came from.)

It’s time for me to close up my ChildHood Installment Series by getting right down to the point. Time to Answer Tiffanie‘s request. “I would love to hear about how that [moving around] affected you, if it was positive/negative, how it carried into your adult life.”

If you’re just beginning this series, remember the beginning is the best place to start:
Find Previous Installments Here:
ChildHood – Installment I 

In all honesty, I have to admit I love moving around. I didn’t always. There were plenty plenty of times growing up when I’d look to my cousins, who have lived in the same house for their whole life, the same city, the same church, with burning envy. They know everyone, everyone knows them. They’re used to their city’s ways, know it like the back of their hands.  

I didn’t have that. I had to memorize numerous new telephone numbers and addresses, and usually just about the time I was getting used to my surroundings, we’d move and the process began all over again. 

I had this idea of small towns, that it would be just like in the movies, you’d walk down the city street and people would call you out by name, would know everything about you just like you knew everything about them. And I knew it was true. Because my father comes from a small town, and every time we go there, people call out his name, wave, know where his parents live (in a non stalking creepy way), and one of his childhood buddies eventually became town mayor. My cousin lives there, and she walks down the street and can name all the owners of the little shops, they all know her, and she could walk the whole town blindfolded.

But I haven’t lived in a small town in ages, and even if I did, by the time everyone got to know me, we’d be gone again. 

Yet, I’ll tell you what I did have. What I do have. I have the opportunity to go places, see things, meet people, have different experiences. The beauty of a small town to me, was always the closely knit relationship of the community. It made me feel safe. Like I’d always have a place to come back to. But I’ve come to realize, that although I can’t exactly name my hometown, because I moved away from the city I was born in when I was ten days old, I will always have a place to come back to. No. I will have many places I may always return to. Everywhere I’ve lived, I have left a little piece of me. And I know that if I ever need to, I can go back there. But even more importantly, because we’ve moved around so much, my immediate family has become quite closely knit, and I know for sure, that wherever life takes Victor and I, no matter what happens, we can always come home- wherever home might be at the time. 

We’ve been homeschooled, which I believe was the best choice for several reasons, but truth be told, I don’t know what we would have done if school were a constant hindrance to moving around. We’d have to be buckled down by school too much. However, moving, traveling, and homeschooling have gone hand in hand. Because we move and travel, we homeschool. But because we homeschool, we move and travel. If we were in a public school, we couldn’t take so many trips, see so many things, meet so many people. Yet, every time someone fears for our “socialization skills”, they worry in vain, for with all the trips and moves we’ve made, we’ve become acquainted with just as much culture and different people as if we were in school. (Read my homeschooling post here.)

All these changes, all these moves, have shaped me into who I am. Every new place has impacted me in a different way. All the new people I’ve met, have imprinted something in my life. I don’t know who I’d be if we hadn’t moved around so much. Oftentimes I wonder what would’ve happened if father hadn’t been stationed out of Brazil. How would I be? Who would I be? I’d have gone to public school, but would I have ever learnt English as I now know it? Would I be close to my family still? Would I have seen the small percentage of the world as I currently have, or would I have seen less? More? Would I have met all the people I have? Would I know different people? Would I be better? Or worse? 

The truth is, I’m glad I didn’t have to make that choice. Someone did it for me; He knows who I would be had we not moved. So He sent me to a different path instead. I have every confidence He knows what He’s doing. I’m glad I don’t have to figure it out because I can’t see the big picture. He can. I believe that if this is where He wants me right now, then I’m here for a reason. If I didn’t grow up in a small town where everybody knows my name, knows everything about me just like I know everything about them, then it’s all for the best. 

I suppose if I really had to, I could make myself adjust to living in one place for the rest of my life. I could get used to it, make the best of it. But for now I’m content with getting restless every five years, it’s as if there’s a built in clock in me, and its timer is on. Every five years or so it’s time to move on, pack up and go some place new.  The thought of living in one house, in one city for thirty odd years … somehow isn’t appealing anymore. I don’t want to settle, not right now anyways. I like this rhythm. 
Take what you can from the people you meet, take what you can from the places you go. The experience, the wisdom they can share. Learn all you can, see all you can, do all you can in the time you have here. Enjoy it to it’s full potential so you’ll have no regrets when you look back. Then move on. It was good while it lasted, now it’s time for something new!

I have left little pieces of me everywhere I’ve been, but everywhere I’ve been has given me a little piece of it so that I’m now a patchwork quilt. No, I’m not made of one fine linen, I have rough spots, faults. I have soft spots, weaknesses. I have pieces that are unique and don’t match, my oddness. All of them have come together by a Master quilt maker, to form me. I’m not perfect, but I’m me. I couldn’t be who I am today without all our moves. So in the long run, I’m pretty happy with how everything has worked together. I’m pleased with my experiences and their outcomes. It’s taught me to hang on, and then when the time comes, to let go. Moving has its ups and downs, but if that’s the path that’s laid out in front of you, it’s because you’re awesome and you can handle it. The ups outweigh the downs. Always. 

P.S. Unfortunately this method of raising your kids does not come with a guarantee that your kids will not be silly, weird, result in people asking if you have dropped your kids once or twice when they were babies.

Keremeos BC – 2011
Niagara Falls – 2009

Toronto ON – 2010

I hope this gave a bit more insight and proved to be somewhat of a satisfactory series (: 
If not, I’ll try again sometime in the future. Thank you all for reading and commenting, feedback is so terribly appreciated. 

9 thoughts on “ChildHood – Installment V

  1. April @ Beyond the Small Gate December 30, 2011 / 3:35 am

    I had no idea you had moved so many times. I am not even 30 yeat and when I bought my house ealier this year it was my 37th move…. my on is 7 and we have moved nine times in his life. I am still really really bad at packing. I honestly think it is that i am so sick of moving that I don't care to pack properly anymore…. do you find that after moving so much you don't pack as neatly as you did the first couple times you moved?


  2. Larissa Tenorio December 24, 2011 / 9:15 pm

    Tiffanie: It is a burning jealousy, but like I mentioned, honestly the closeness that my family acquired because of all the moves, was definitely worth it. Having a stable home relationship, makes up for the not so stable locations. Then again, if you're thinking of moving some place and staying there, I'm sure your children will come to know the new place as their “hometown”, and if you buy land and give them room to play, I believe they'll love it. Like you said, either way, they can benefit. (:
    San Francisco is beautiful! We loved it, even if we did spend just a day there.


  3. Tiffanie December 24, 2011 / 6:15 am


    Thank you for writing about this. It gives me a new perspective, as I am from a small town that I lived in the first sixteen or so years of my life, and I can't imagine a childhood different than that. You help me see what I think I already knew, that you can benefit from either situation. I do worry that if we start moving around (San Francisco is just so expensive we always are considering a move, so we can own some land or something) that my son and daughter will have that same burning jealousy that you experienced with people that had a hometown.

    We shall see. I will come back to refer to this post again, I am sure. Thank you for sharing!


  4. Larissa Tenorio December 23, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    Thanks Boy,
    neah, acho que muitos, se nao todos, filhos(as) de pastores podem dizer o mesmo. Para todos nos essa vida de indecisao e mudancas e realidade. Fazer oq … so podemos deixar tudo nas maos de Deus.
    Otimo fds Boy! E Feliz Natal!


  5. Anonymous December 22, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    PS again: Adorei a sua foto dos canudinhos… hihi



  6. Anonymous December 22, 2011 / 10:39 pm

    Posso falar praticamente a mesma coisa que vc Larii, só que a diferença é que eu não fui para muito longe, mas do mesmo jeito por onde passei deixei um pouquinho de mim. Isso já é ótimo. E sem dúvida viver em cidade pequena é bem melhor. E por mais que já esteja no sangue não continuar por muito tempo em um só lugar, não escondo a vontade de ter uma vida em apenas uma só cidade(o que seria difícil eu conseguir tal façanha, mas tudo bem ..rsrs)…


    PS: Você está de parabéns por todos os posts que tem escrito, falo especialmente desse que sem dúvida alguma foi um dos melhores do blog, se não o melhor!! 😀


  7. Carolina December 22, 2011 / 10:34 pm

    I moved around alot as a kid, and when I was in the Army. I envied those who had lived in one place all their life. I feel blessed to have met so many people who from all over the world who I still keep in touch. And as the saying goes “Bloom where you are planted!”


  8. Larissa Tenorio December 22, 2011 / 5:13 pm

    I love patchwork quilts ..
    So nice you finally got to live in a small town 🙂
    Maybe someday I will too .. maybe.


  9. cdnkaro December 22, 2011 / 3:10 am

    I love your view of things, seeing yourself as a patchwork quilt, and I see myself the same way. I too have traveled quite a bit and each of the places I've been for any length of time still feels a bit like “home” for me. And yet, now that I have lived in a tiny town for a year and everyone knows me and I know them…I don't know that I could ever go back to big-city living. There is something magical about small-town life…life is simplified.


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