This spring comes with many changes for people that we care about. Mostly changes in residence. It's pretty complicated. Basically, very good friends and neighbors are vacating two houses on our street this spring, and some other dear friends are moving to the West Coast. This is how I worked through it with Sophia early one morning. Plotting out which families are going where. I'm not sure it helped her, but it did clarify some confusion in my mind at least.
I knew that Sophia would have some feelings about all of these changes at some point. Tuesday was the first of (probably) many breakdowns.
Ernie is one of the neighbors who is moving. He and Sophia have always had a special connection, and Tuesday afternoon we were at his house for a few minutes. He has boxed up much of his stuff, so it looks very different in there. We hadn't been talking specifically about his move at the moment, though. I mentioned to Sophia that it was almost time for us to go home, and she started to cry. When I asked about it, she let loose into heaving sobs, saying she didn't want to leave, and she didn't want Ernie to leave. Seriously, she was inconsolable, which doesn't happen all that often. (The last time was when her Grandma left after a short visit. I'm seeing a pattern.) Then Ernie asked if she wanted him to come home with us for a few minutes. She blotted her eyes, and responded with a nod. Of course, once we got home, Ernie eventually had to leave again, resulting in the same tears. I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but Sophia is a bit dramatic. As she was crying, she was saying "It's not fair when people leave me! My heart will be sad for all my life!" I didn't laugh because I know that it feels true. There's no sense telling her that the pain lessens with time. That creates its own sets of sadness and melancholy.
Sometimes it's just enough to say, "Yep, Sophia. Change is hard."