What is it about change that can be so hard? Is it the letting go of the past or is it moving on into the uncertainty of the future? It’s never easy. It’s often exciting. It’s always bittersweet. As humans we find joy in comfort. We find comfort in familiarity and the moment that changes it’s hard. As humans we are constantly changing. We are moving along in life to…well to live. As kids we are exploring the world on a daily basis. As teenagers we are exploring where we think we want to be in the world and as adults we are hoping we have found it.
As a parent we are no longer worrying about our place in the world half as much as we are worrying about our child’s place. From the moment the positive test is in your hands you are no longer thinking about your needs. Your place has been found. You have been defined. You are now a parent. It’s scary, it’s exciting and holy crap it’s a whole lot of change all at once.
As a kid I remember my grandmother constantly telling me to enjoy my youth. It goes fast she would say. Before you know it you will look back and wonder where the time has gone. My grandmother is right about a lot of things, but she was spot on with this one. It goes fast. Just when you think your own youth couldn’t have possibly moved along any quicker you have your own child and let’s just say don’t blink or yes you may actually miss something. I remember every single detail about carrying my oldest son. I remember the day I went into labor like it was yesterday. I remember seeing his face for the first time, holding him and knowing I had never felt love like that before. I remember the moment he wrapped his little hand around my finger and thinking this is what I have been waiting for. This is what I have been looking for.
I watched him see things for the first time, laugh for the first time, crawl, stand, walk and talk. I have watched and smiled as he has become the little boy I see now. The confident, although sometimes annoying yet beautiful little boy we created. I look at him run around with his friends, laughing, completely care free and I think about all the things I want for him in this life. I think about how much I want to protect him from being hurt for as long as I possibly can. I think about how I want him to remain innocent from the world for years. I think about how I want him to be able to hold his own and succeed at whatever he wants to do. I think about how much I want to hold on to the hugs, the snuggles and the kisses because I know they are fleeting. It’s only a matter of time before he is too embarrassed to hug me or tell me he loves me. I think about all of this and I realize just how short the “little kid” days really are.
Here I sit one day away from putting my little boy on a school bus for the very first time and I know just how excited he is and just how nervous I am…change is bittersweet. I used to always wonder why Kindergarten was such a big deal to parents. I now know it is the first big step towards independence. It is the realization that the five years before this went so fast and knowing that the next five will go even faster. It is the realization that it is them breaking away from needing you as much as they did the day before. It is all your fears, hopes and dreams for them starting to happen and like all changes in life everything is out of your control. It is change, change is hard, change is bittersweet but change is necessary.
In less than two days I will put my little boy on a big school bus. I will hold back tears and tell him to have a great day. I will wave and smile and watch as the bus drives down the street taking my little boy off to a whole new world. It will be the first of many bittersweet changes along this journey we call life.
I will be here with open arms and ears ready to hear all about his new exciting world.