The Final Move!
So, the big move has been made. We can find most of our stuff, most of the time. The kids are settling into school and activities. Now, for the biggest adjustment of all … life after the military.
To a large extent, for our family, leaving the army has been a lot like any other posting. Except we got to pick where we were going (to be honest, my husband’s employment dictated where we were going, but we were very happy with the result). The move process is exactly the same, with just a little less money. What has been surprising is the pressure to “get it right”. In the past, we always went into house-hunting trips with the criteria of “can we live with it for the next couple of years”. We knew that we planned to stay here much, much longer. And so the question became, “can we live with this for the next 10-15 years”. No pressure there!
The same for the school … if the children didn’t love the school, the good news was always that we would be leaving soon. By turns, this was a huge downside when they were happy at a school. We knew that this time, we really had to select the right school. I’m pretty sure we put more research and thought into it than I ever did into choosing a university! The Fraser Institute was our first tool … it can give you some pretty good information on how a school is doing. But it doesn’t give the whole picture. Visit the school if you can. Talk to the principal and teachers, if you can. We actually stopped people on the street in the neighbourhood in which we were interested … and that’s where school boundaries come up. School boundaries are very, very complicated in some places … double and triple-check the school boundaries. Here, in Guelph, children on one side a street can attend one school, while the kids across the street attend another. Finding a house, which fell in the catchment area of the school we wanted our kids to attend, left us with 3 houses from which to choose! Luckily, one of those three was the one for us!
So, here we find ourselves … surrounded by neighbours who don’t wear a uniform everyday … who don’t use the word “leave” to describe their summer vacation … who don’t understand how you and your children could survive so many moves in so few years. What on earth will we talk about?