TRADING PLACES: JEN SCRIVENS

“Are you sitting down?”

I can’t say I was completely blindsided by this. I had a busy morning at work and was taking a coffee break to scan my Twitter feed before receiving the text from Ben.

Devan Dubnyk was just traded to Nashville, and another Oilers trade was looming.

“Edmonton?” I replied.

“Ya.”

At that moment, our casual conversations of what we’d do if Ben were traded came rushing back to me. The framework of our plan unfolded; Ben called his family and I called mine. I then let my boss know I’d be moving to Edmonton in a few weeks and sat back in my chair to think about the rug that had been pulled out from underneath us.

A lot of people ask how much warning Ben gets before a trade. That day, he was already seated on the Kings plane to St. Louis when his coach told him. He grabbed his bag and left. It’s that simple. From the moment he found out, maybe half an hour passed before the deal was announced on Twitter. He was given just enough time to return home, pack a bigger bag and catch a different plane to meet the Oilers in Minnesota.

Only seven months ago, Ben was traded from Toronto to Los Angeles. It was late Sunday morning in June, and I was finally settling in to start my homework after another hectic weekend. You know those days when you think you can’t bear any more stress? That was June 23, 2013, before the trade.

“I’ll give you three guesses where we’re going,” Ben said after he got off the phone.

“Edmonton?”

“No.”

“LA?”

“Yep.”

Fortunately, the offseason gave us a couple months to pack and plan for the move across the continent. I was even able to finish my graduate program in Toronto, which kept me busy until the end of July. We had enough time to say goodbye to all our friends from the past three years before making our way to LA.ScrivenInstagram

the Toronto Gay Pride Parade with attracts a million people who line the route

This trade to Edmonton, however, was different. I had three weeks to finish with my job, pack the house and say goodbye to friends and family. When Ben left for the airport that Wednesday, I expected him to return in a week. Instead, I saw him for the first time once the Olympic break began on February 8th.

The trade happened to fall on the day of the Lady Kings practice. I showed up to the rink trying to pretend it was just another Wednesday, but I was met by the saddest group of girls I’ve ever seen. They are all fans of Ben and the Kings, so they knew about the trade before I even got there. That weekend we had a big tournament in San Jose, so I was able to distract them from the fact that we were moving by reassuring them I’d still be able to travel with them in a few days. (FYI, they lost in the Championship game.) That tournament happened to be the same one I used to participate in when I was growing up.

This wasn’t the same tournament, but you get the drift.

Being able to come back as a coach was incredibly special, and I’m thankful I still had that opportunity to share it with them.

The girls are still Kings fans, but it does put a smile on my face to hear them talk about the Edmonton Oilers now too.

As crazy as this lifestyle sounds, I enjoy it. I don’t see it so much as leaving all our friends in family in LA as I do joining new friends and family in Edmonton.

Several people have asked if we’d do everything the same knowing we’d be here for only five months, and I would without a doubt. The friends we’ve made will be a part of our lives forever, no matter what happens with Ben’s career. I’m happy we made the most of our time here; in fact, I think that makes the thought of moving easier to accept.

While I’m still recovering from the initial jolt, the support we have from friends and family has made this transition as seamless as possible. Because as every Californian knows, you need a strong foundation and a plan to get you through when the ground beneath your feet starts rumbling.