It's not only the challenge of packing, sorting and then unloading and setting it up all over again. Often the bigger issue is the myriad emotional struggles we face leaving friends, finding new doctors, learning where things are, what you need and how to get places.
And sometimes we can begin to think that we left our real home and are now stuck in some sort of barren Purgatory that will never be the same as what we had before.
In this continuing fast-paced, often - changing - locations kind of society, it is important that we make sure our children know that home is more than a place, an abode of brick and mortar or a school system.
Home is where the family is. I know this sounds like a greeting card or Hallmark Special, but it's easy for kids to forget or simply not know that. In fact, while I don't encourage lots of moves every few years, I do know that the moves we've made have reminded us that home goes with us. Yes, with US. That means, just as the church is not the building, but the Christians, our home isn't that address on Orchard St, but rather the parents and kids.
Home is also a place where we help each other with the challenges, including moving. Yes, it is hard for children to make new friends, leave the familiarity of their school and learn new names, streets and amusements. But each time they have to endure that they are reminded that none of those things were really home anyway and most of the time the new setting is better. They survive and so do we.
Home then is affirmed as that group of people who yes love us but also help us make it. We live through it together and care for each other when we're hurting. We may have all shed some tears driving out the driveway but we also share the smiles that can come with a new place with new adventures and new dreams.
Finally, home is the place you always go to feel safe, comfortable and real. When I was in seminary and our son was just two we lived in Texas for the summer. Our home, however, was in Michigan. The day we returned after ten weeks in the South, we were bringing things in from the car and knew Tim was in the house but we didn't see him.
So we of course went to discover where he was and we found him sitting on his bed. And as we walked into his room he simply said one word, "Home!"
You see our kids will face some tough times perhaps having to leave a location and some people they care about but thinking they're leaving home. And while we know better often young minds don't. So teach them about home where their real home is. Prepare them for that day when home might be somewhere else but not with someone else.
I'm thinking Heaven might be like that, too.