Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A White Tall House in PHL

(photo substituted by another without visible license plate)

I think Linton has "caught" some of our discontent and this makes me really sad.

Last week I was coming out of a store with him (I'd been shopping for things for K to bring to Brazil) when I had a sudden thought that there was a slim possibility that we might be moving back there, so I asked Linton:

"Would you like to go back to Brazil?"

"No," he replied, and then came the big surprise, "I'd like to go back Philadelphia."


"Yes, I want to go to that white*house in Philadelphia."

"Hmmm, really? We don't live there anymore, we have a new house here."

"But I want to go back to that house."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This morning we dropped off Kelvin and as I pulled into our driveway he said:

"This is not our house. I want to go to that white tall house in Philadelphia."
(Essa não é a nossa casa. Eu quero ir praquela casa branca alta na Philadelphia.)

"But this is our new house, Linton"

"No, this is an old house."
(I guess he's heard me repeating to people, like the guests last night that the house is old and complaining about the work that needs to be done. Interestingly enough, K's aunt's first words to me were "You guys live in a mansion" and for Brazilian standards it's almost like that, yes)

His desire to go back to our previous house just breaks my heart. How can a three year old be saying things like these? How can he remember the house so clearly? It's no really white, but it is " tall" in the sense that it's a two story twin, taller than our multi-level, spread out home. It's not in Philadelphia proper either, but only a few miles from the city.

He makes me feel guilty for uprooting him from the only house he's known since he was born (he was two months old when we moved in). It seems that Kelvin is much more resilient and welcomes change more easily, but I guess his reaction must be just a side effect of the events that have taken place lately and our own feelings about the place. When we talk about moving Kelvin gets really excited ("Yes, let's go live in an apartment, that would be so fun!") and I didn't think Linton had any "thoughts" or feelings about this. When we moved I kept emphasizing how nice the new house was, etc, but now he feels like it's not his house. Oh well. I kind of feel the same in the end. It's almost worse than that week in which we were truly "homeless." We have it, but we don't. "It's temporary," I said to K's aunt last night, "we don't really live in a 'mansion'!"

P.S. The boys are thrilled with daddy's return and so am I. More tomorrow.


O said...

I am often stunned by what my kids remember. Some of the best advice I got was to always talk to them as though they understand everything because they probably do! He'll adjust, poor little guy; you'll be able to help him figure out things he likes about this house too.
Hang in there--what a month!

Prisca said...

When we moved to a new city to take a new church our eldest daughter would often say she missed her "old room" or "the old church". I was REALLY surprised because there were few children in that congregation and she was only 3 when we moved. I'm not sure it was really the house OR the church she liked, but the feelings there. She was the center of EVERYTHING at that church and when we moved her Dad had to be gone more and life did change. Just keep being reassuring. He can sense the transition but YOU aren't going any place and he needs to know that. You're a great mom, Lilian!

Keiko said...

ô dureza Lilian...a gente realmente nao tem idéia do que passa nessas cabecinhas minúsculas, até Zack já anda me surpreendendo com umas coisas que ele entende e expressa...

Eu morei a vida inteira na mesma casa e como o Kelvin, morria de vontade de morar em apartamento, até ir pra faculdade e te digo que mesmo com 18 anos foi difícil de processar a mudança. Desde então eu morei literalmente cada ano em um apartamento diferente, (e nunca mais numa casa :-( , aí não teve jeito, acostumei...

Feliz Sábado!