GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 4, 2013

Military mom must rally all of her family to move

:Dear Abby: We’re a military family and have moved often since my husband and I married. In the past, relocating was always easy because our two sons were younger, but we have lived in the same community for more than five years now. Our older son is 14 and a freshman in high school.

My husband has reached a point in his career where he can either retire from the military or re-enlist to finish out his 30 years. Either way, it will probably require another move. Our 11-year-old son is a free spirit who seems to adjust wherever we are. The problem is, our teenager is begging us not to move because of the friends he has in school.

I’m torn. I understand my son’s reasons, and people who had to move as teens agree it’s difficult when they’re in high school. We live in a very small town, and I’m sure the move will take us to a larger area. I know my son will see he’ll have more to do and will make a lot more friends. But he doesn’t want to leave and is becoming very emotional about it.

My husband is willing to leave without us, get settled and let our son finish high school here. I don’t want to separate the family. Can you help us?

Not “At Ease” In Georgia

Dear Not At Ease: Do not separate your family. If this were your son’s last year of high school, I might feel differently. However, there is still plenty of time for him to make new friends at a new high school. Because he doesn’t want to lose his old ones, he can stay in touch with them electronically.

What your son is experiencing is one of the realities of military life, and it may teach him to become more adept at social relationships. So think positive and do not let his fear of change hold you back.

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