Living Without Roots


We have been in Ketchum for 3 months – a quarter year. The summer was amazing. The girls are off to a great start at their new school and everyone has a healthy glow. Things have been miraculously easy for uprooting our family to live in a ski town for the year. I am sure you can guess where this is headed especially if you have read my other Blog post  in which I talk about how I usually reside on either end of the curve — never in the middle where the “balance” exists.

I thought we were doing pretty well until my 8 year old has become distraught about going back home. She had a bad couple days. She is the new kid. There are too many kids in the class. There was something about the teeter-totter and a girl was mean when she asked for a turn… She likes her old school way better. That said school has BIG field trips as opposed to the “walking field trip to the museum with a bunch of square houses that look like boxes.” She misses her friends who knew her. She misses our house. She misses her stuffed animals that didn’t come along. She misses her soccer team. The list is long. “Everything was better and we need to go back!” Dad has been gone for a week so I have no back up. “It was DADDY’s idea to come here!” she says.

I listened. I hugged. I talked. She cried. My sweet Daughter #2 has hearing loss in one ear which you would never know but it can cause issues especially in big, noisy classrooms, and in some social situations like the cafeteria and recess. UGH! Earlier in the day I was hiking in the these beautiful mountains and thinking about how hard it would be to return next summer. Suddenly I am ready to pack my bags and head out. I find myself telling her that she can come home with me before Thanksgiving and if the classroom is too big and if it doesn’t work then she can go to the private school (that costs way too much money). Afterwards I am thinking that she can go to the Montessori School here. Maybe we will have to go back to her private school in Tacoma. Oh my goodness. I have lost my mind!

Every organized, well thought out plan that has been seamlessly implemented has been thrown out the window because my 8 year old had a bad day! This is the tough stuff of parenting and I can’t imagine how it gets tougher. I can deal with saying no to the latest electronics even though EVERYONE else has one. I can deal with breaking up fights, even teaching them those hard valuable lessons but this one was a tough one. We implemented this plan and I don’t have my husband to remind me of all the reasons why it really is good for them. By the end of dinner two out of three were in tears and telling me they desperately want to go back.

Then they went outside. They had a raspberry biscuit. They started playing a game. All I hear is laughter from my three little people that I love with all my heart. I am on a roller coaster and nowhere close to the Puyallup Fair!

The picture is of our family on one of the many hikes close by. This is the reason we moved to the mountains. To be together. To be outside. To experience life together.


5 thoughts on “Living Without Roots

  1. Oh, Janna, my heart goes out to Abbie and you! As parents, we are always second guessing and wondering if the decisions we are making are the right ones. And when we make our decisions, we are having to make them with a confident face as we wouldn’t dare let our children see or know we are just “winging” it most the time. Oh, how I wish that instruction manual would come in the mail! All I can say is that your initial decisions are your gut decisions and are usually the right decisions. But as humans, we are always second guessing those decisions. That is where faith and patience come in. As I read your last blog about how tough parenting is, I definitely agree and what we want more in life is to get off the roller coaster and coast through life on that straight path. But the quote from the excellent book, “The Road Less Traveled”, helps me better accept the roller coaster of parenting, and life, for that matter. “Life is Hard”. If we could accept that and quit trying to bypass those twists and turns, then maybe we could be better prepared when our children come home with their tears and pains or when life in general throws us a curve ball. This is the roller coaster descending down the great big hill, but just as fast as that happens, we find it climbing back up and leveling off, which is much more relaxing. My point is, don’t throw the plan out the window just yet, because what seems like chaos will level off and things will be ok again. So take a deep breath, let yourself enjoy the thrill of that hill and see how you feel when you come back up before you quit and get off.
    Much love and understanding,

  2. Oh Janna,
    Your family is missed by all of us who know you, but we are so happy for you to be sharing this year together. The girls will never forget it– or regret it– and everything will be OK! Those tears may have happened here on that same day. I love what Stephanie wrote! Love, Kristine

  3. Janna-
    This made me just cry! I can totally relate to this. We have had a few similar days lately. When my kids have a bad day and are so sad – it just kills me. They recover much quicker than we do. I think you are creating some wonderful memories for your family. Hang in there. And come visit us at Thanksgiving! 🙂
    Love you,

  4. Just came back from a business trip with Cory to get caught up on life here and read your blog! I could go on and on about the struggles we have obviously all been through with our kids, but it looks like everything has already been said (since we all relate so well 🙂 ). Hang in there, I know you will have figured it out by the time I’ve written this anyway (Lexie is way too smart and strong of a girl to not have), and we are all here for you!

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