Thank you, Scott, for such a heartfelt reply. I wish my grandchildren were an 8-hour drive away!! I would be visiting at least once a month. But, perhaps that is not possible for your parents.
Every family situation is unique. Perhaps, moving would benefit your family, perhaps not. As desperately as I miss my daughter and grandchildren, I believe, and am starting to see evidence that, the move has been and will be good for them.
My daughter, who had a dead-end cashier job here is now in college. Her new husband has a job he loves. My grandson, who struggled as a player on a youth soccer team here, always feeling inadequate and tentative, made his first goal, and a very skillful one, with his new team. His new nickname is Diego after Diego Maradona — although he would prefer Lionel after Lionel Messi, he will proudly answer to Diego! He is showing more self-confidence in soccer-playing and school.
My grandson had a bad year when he was in fourth grade due to an inexperienced teacher and several unruly students. A slightly-above-average student before, his grades dropped drastically. In spite of knowing that other students in his class had the same problems with falling grades due to the classroom situation, he lost all self-confidence and began to call himself stupid. We hoped that fifth grade would be a better experience but he carried the dark cloud of fourth grade with him, never believing in himself, always expecting to fail. He was unhappy and discouraged, complaining every day about going to school. In his new home, he is excited and enthusiastic. Will it last? Who knows, but right now he looks forward to going to school and that is a big improvement over last year!
My granddaughter, a creative and clever girl, is in fourth grade and has made two friends whose interests in music and dance are as strong as hers. She had good friends here but none that shared her passions. She and her new friends have written a song and are creating a dance for a video they want to create.
As sad as I am for me — completely selfish, I know — I am equally happy for them. I cannot predict the future but I am hopeful that it is full of promise for my daughter and her family.
So, leaving grandparents, and maybe aunts, uncles, and cousins, behind is traumatizing in some ways but invigorating in others. When, and if, it is time for a fresh start, I believe you will know it.