Today, our family is celebrating my oldest child’s birthday. Fifteen years ago today my husband and I went from a “Couple” to a “Family”. Our lives have never been the same. It’s hard to even think about what life was like before our children! What a transition that was! We had no idea what lay ahead of us. Then, a few short years after my daughter’s birth, we welcomed our oldest son and we had to learn how to juggle the needs of two children. Years later, our family of four became a family of five when my youngest was born. Suddenly, we were outnumbered! As a friend stated at the time, it was time to go from a “man-to-man” to a “zone” defense.
Now in two short weeks, she’ll be starting high school the same day our oldest son starts middle school. On top of that, my husband’s parents are contemplating the sale of the house in which my husband grew up. I think I’m starting to understand the old adage: “The only constant in life is change.” Changes, even good changes, are stressful. Suddenly, you have a lot to learn; maybe a new school layout, staff, new schedules or maybe where you packed the scrapbooks or where to get your groceries.
Sometimes life moves too fast for me. It seems the older I get, the more time I take to adapt to all these new changes. Not only do I have a hard time keeping up with all this change, it also strikes me that my children growing up also means that I am getting older. Like I said in an earlier post, I’m not one of those people who are afraid of getting older. Honestly though, getting older can just be ANNOYING! For example, I’ve never had great vision but I’m used to wearing contacts or glasses that remedy that issue for me. Well, now I find myself in this awkward phase of my life when I’m starting to “play trombone”. I have to move my arm back and forth while holding my reading material in order to find the point at which it all comes into focus. Reading glasses are just around the corner. It’s not that I have a problem with the idea of wearing reading glasses, after all I’ve been wearing corrective lenses since I was six years old. I’m used to it and I like to see, so I wear them. The annoying part is that sometimes I need them and sometimes I don’t. I’m in between needing reading glasses and not needing them!
So, the reality is, I don’t mind change so much as transitions. It’s the waiting around for things to change that bothers me. I remember being frustrated while I was engaged to my husband. We weren’t just dating anymore but we weren’t married yet either. I felt like we were in relationship limbo. I just wanted to be married already! I guess that says a lot about me, doesn’t it?
The thing is, waiting is part of the process of change. Waiting helps us to prepare physically and mentally for what comes next. Just like Advent helps us to prepare for the coming of our Lord in the Nativity and Lent helps us to prepare for the Resurrection, the time BEFORE the change is just as valuable as the change itself as long as we don’t waste the opportunity. So, as my family and I face all of these upcoming changes, I’m going to try to not waste the time before the changes. I’m going to practice patience and flexibility and I’m going to give myself a little extra time to absorb all that’s happening around me.
But, God, help me out on this one. Don’t send me anymore changes for a while. PLEASE?
Ok, I think I actually heard God laugh. Uh-oh!