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"My life was practically in a box. I was moving around so much!”

I’m twelve years old, and I have moved seven times in my life. When we moved the first time, I thought it was just going to be a one time thing. However, that was not the case. Why do I move so much? My dad is a manager at a store. He’s worked there for twenty-two years. One of their policies is once you move up in the rankings, you have to move.

As for my other family members, they include my mom, Tasha, my dad, Mike, my sister, Kensie, and my two dogs, Bo and Lily. Moving impacts my family as well as me because we always are on the go. My sister struggles leaving her friends behind. I haven’t noticed major difficulties for my parents. As long as the dogs have us, they are fine.

Besides them, I have met a lot of people through my journey of moving. I only remember a few of them though. One of my friends that I met at our last location was Van. Only one teacher sticks out in my brain because I remember her catchy name and the way she taught us. Her name was Miss EarAnaca. The way she taught us was fun. She made school work fun and exciting. She worked at my school, Gardner Elementary, in Iowa. Their mascot was a gator.

Since I’m talking about my memories, most of the bedrooms that I have had have a hardwood floor and a closet. I don’t remember ever sharing a room; although, I do remember when we would stay with our family friends for a day or two while we’re moving.

When you move a lot, you don’t make friends as easily. One reason is that you’re afraid that you might have to move again. Making friends and having to then move brings up a lot of emotions. You would miss your friends you’ve made if you end up leaving them. You, or at least I, put up walls because then it doesn’t hurt as much. Also, it’s hard to stay in touch with friends if you move farther away. You can’t get together as easily. There are lots of emotions that I feel sometimes when moving, like sadness.

Luckily, my parents say we are not going to move again, and I’m glad of that because it gets tough moving a lot. Now, I am able to find a sport and enjoy it, not just have different teams every time I move. I can have one team. I am playing football right now, and later in the year, I’m going to wrestle. However, Bo and Lily sadly passed away in 2020. It was really hard because they were my best friends throughout my journey. But now we have our almost two-year-old Vizsla, named Sadie. She’s a little crazy at times, but when you really need her, she’s always there for you.

From these memories, I think this is what it means to be American because you can move where you want. You can also do what you want there. You’re not just told what to do, and no one is really in charge of you. You have freedom. No matter if you move again and again, each place can welcome you and feel like home.

© Trevor Fowler. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team and we can put you in touch with the author’s teacher.