As I was driving Zack to school, I looked over and realized I didn't have a little boy any more. Not in the traditional way of thinking, anyway. He'll always be my little boy, but things have certainly changed.
|Zack at age two and a half, and me, loving that he fits in my lap.|
|Zack at an Orioles game a couple of weeks ago, age eleven.|
|original source unknown, but via The Big Bang Theory.|
I am like my son. I don't do well with change, and that's an understatement. It makes me twitchy and bitey and sometimes stabby. I want to know what's ahead. I'm a list-maker, the sort who will write something down that I did that wasn't ON the list just so I can check it off. Super Type A.
I've grown up fighting it, thinking that change is not just hard but evil. And that thought has to metamorphosize into something better.
|Life can indeed be a bowl of cherries.|
Making changes in my life has been difficult but not impossible. Recently I made the decision to stop fighting the things that suck the life out of me. Yes, I sometimes have to fake it a bit to get that smile going and to therefore KEEP going (a smile can kind of force you into action, you know), but that doesn't mean *I* am fake. And when things really, really hit me hard and lay me low, I won't Facebook or blog about it nearly as much.
However, I'm writing THIS now, because after thinking about shopping in the Young Men's Department for my baby boy, I realized that I can't keep shopping in the Department of Things That Were and cursing when things no longer fit. There are lots of Departments of Epic Things out there, and "epic" doesn't have to mean world-changing -- it can mean life-changing for a party of one.
Almost all my life I imagined big plans, bigger dreams. Somewhere along the way, I thought if I gave up anything, closed a chapter, picked up another book, it would negate that part of my existence and make my life less meaningful. That's not true. Difficult to make myself believe all the time, but certainly not true. The world is full of books -- opportunities, ideas, and things that sometimes fall into your lap with providence and expectation from the stars. Fighting myself and these new chapters isn't helping me at all. So, change.
I hate that Zack is growing up, because with one child, every first is also a last. However, I am so fortunate to HAVE him that I'm really excited about his firsts and if I can, (and mothers know this is difficult) concentrate on those moments, not the "oh my gosh, that's the last time X will ever happen." With my personality, it will certainly be a challenge. But this is where my writing comes in. If I write about life, everyday life, the mundane to the exciting, there is a record, and re-reading is a joy. Even re-reading the low parts of life isn't a bad thing because inevitably, eventually, the wheel goes 'round and oh hey look, good things again.
So this afternoon, while I enjoy lunch with Zack and shop for his new pants, I'll be in that moment. I may have to jab myself sometimes to STOP IT and ENJOY, because I can't help that I'm nostalgic and sentimental. It's quite alright to be sad sometimes, mad at times, hurt at times. If we didn't allow ourselves those emotions, we'd explode in a big squishy mess. Now, though, I'm going to try and do my best to learn to give up past things, and live in the moment. Yet I'll never forget the past, because it formed me.
And that, dear readers, is how I'm dealing with change.
Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.