From Chicken Soup for the Child's Soul

A Move to a New Life

I was stunned when my parents told me we were moving from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to New York. First, I whined about not being able to make new friends and not knowing anything about New York.

My mom said, “You’ll make new friends, and it’s not like you know anything about Baton Rouge anyway.”

I whined, “But I don’t want to leave Louisiana. The weather is perfect here, and I love Cajun food!”

My mom glared at me and said, “You’ll get used to the weather in New York, and you hate spicy food.”

“But . . . but . . . but I don’t want to go! I want to stay here.”

“Well, we’re going, so you might as well get packed. We’re leaving on Monday.” And she gave me a look that meant the conversation is over.

“Fine,” I mumbled as I walked away.

I remember thinking about running away and joining a circus somewhere, but then I remembered that circus animals smell really bad, and I would miss my parents. So I shuffled around the house picking up random things, like my baseball and glove, and throwing them into a cardboard box. I felt like a big, heavy rain cloud was hanging over my head.

Within three days, all the furniture we were taking with us was packed into a moving van. Older things were on the lawn, ready to be sold at nowhere near what we paid for them. Little by little, our yard sale shrunk until no one even glanced at the gnawed coffee table, chewed-up plastic toys, and chipped coffee cups—all of which I had my teeth on at one time or another.

The next day was Monday, and we got up early to beat the traffic. I’ll spare you the details of how boring it is to sit in a van and watch each tree as it whizzes by only to see another tree getting closer until it also passes by. Halfway there, we stopped at a motel to spend the night. This time, no one could sleep because of the smell coming from the heater in the room. By the time we made it to New York, it was the middle of the night, and my head was already drooping onto my shoulder.

When I woke up, I was expecting to find a smog-filled city where nothing grew. What I found was a city with plenty of grass, a school only two blocks from my new house, a supermarket within walking distance, and a neighborhood full of children my age who were willing to play with me and be my friends.

As I got used to this new setting, I realized that I didn’t have to be afraid of changing where I lived and losing my friends. I could always make new friends, and the memories of my old friends would always be with me. I learned that change isn’t scary, and that I should always look to the bright side of things and make the best of what I have. Now, when I face something new and intimidating, I don’t think about all the bad things that can happen. I think of all the good things that will happen.

Andrew Sang

“Things are looking up.”

Reprinted by permission of Jonny Hawkins. ©2006 Jonny Hawkins.

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