People Come and People Go

Last May, we told our son Malcolm that he will transfer to a different school in the coming school year.

He cried.

He said that he will miss KJ, his bestfriend, and his teachers at Hickman Elementary.

We had to move to a new apartment, which is zoned in a different elementary school. It will help us save money and enjoy a bigger space for our growing family.

I remember my own story of moving to a different house. It happened for the first time when I was 6 years old, the same age as Malcolm is. We moved from Dasmarinas, Cavite to Roxas, Isabela. My father graduated from the seminary and was finally ready to take on his first church assignment.

We had two jeepneys full of our stuff. Back then, we were a family of four–my father, mother, me, and my younger sister.

I don’t remember crying or being sad about the move. It must have been because of my uncles and cousins who helped us move. Maybe I was just too young to remember.

We moved a second time, a third time, a fourth time, until I couldn’t keep count. Besides, I went to Quezon City in the Metro Manila to pursue my college education.

As I look back, I may have lived in 14 or more houses since I was a kid. It’s not easy being a pastor’s kid.

Throughout those moving, I learned that people really do come and go. One day you enjoy their company, the next you’re leaving. Or they’re leaving.

I know a number of pastor’s kids in our church who have become reclusive. The frequent moving left them wary of building relationships. Perhaps in their minds, they think “it will end soon, anyway, why bother?”

On the other extreme are the gregarious and super extroverted Pastor’s kids who have learned to be sociable and likeable… to the point that they can almost talk to a total stranger and be friends 15 minutes later.

Yes, people come and people go. But some people do stay–not physically, but in all the important places of the heart.

After a month of sneakily convincing Malcolm to transfer to a new school, he finally relented and agreed.

On the day we moved to the new apartment, he saw two boys playing across the street. At first he was shy. But after a few minutes, he stepped out of the door and introduced himself to the two boys who have become his playmates and new friends.

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