Thursday, September 29, 2011

A New Start

Stevie was pleased that Shawna's and Collin's transition to North California was proceeding well. All three of them were teary that Saturday morning in late May as they loaded the Cherokee and said their farewells to friends, soccer teammates, and neighbors. Jon only made things worse when he broke down while hugging his children good-bye. But soon after Stevie pointed the car north on Interstate 5, leaving the Los Angeles basin behind, the kids were playing the license plate game and arguing about where they wanted to stop for lunch. Most of the conversation during the ten-hour trip to Redding, North California concerned not what they had left behind but what lay ahead.

During the first weeks in their new state, Stevie involved the kids in the major decisions. Stevie secretly wanted the apartment with a nice view of Mt. Shasta, but she yielded to the kids' choice: the unit nearer the swimming pool. They also voted on where to go to church. Surprisingly, Shawna and Collin opted for a small neighborhood church. Stevie was pleased that her concerted efforts to acclimate them to their new surroundings were paying off.

Thankfully, Shawna seemed to have left her problems behind in South California. Stevie had resisted the temptation to squeeze every possible moral lesson out of the incidents. But whenever camp, Rik's emails, or the biology exam incidents came up, Shawna was sober and contrite. It pleased Stevie that her daughter apparently did regard the move north as a new start in her life.

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