When it comes to change I find that I am fully resistant. I’m most comfortable in my comfort zone and this despite having always taught my children to try new things. The fun fact about this is that it is in fact them that have turned the tables on me more than once to throw my teaching back at me when I haven’t wanted to try new things.
And so as the months pass and my children move between the different stages I’ve found myself becoming more and more sad about seeing these changes that become more and more evident as your children grow. I have found that as they moved from the newborn into the toddler phase I mourned the passing of certain things that I knew we would never do again. And then they move from the toddler into the young child and so it continues.
I think I’ve become comfortable in the current stage as the young child stage has lasted a while for my oldest daughter, but as her legs grow longer, her face changes into that of a pre-teen and her questions develop in maturity I’ve found myself having to sit up and take more notice. It’s almost a double whammy too as my son edges closer to his seventh birthday. Somehow seven seems so much older than six, and I think it’s harder given he is my last child and the last time I took this step with my daughter I held on tight to him knowing I still had those milestones to go through with him. But there’s no child to come after him and so the milestones and events I now find myself passing and ticking off are bittersweet as I know they are final: the last time a child of mine will enter grade 1 or the last time my child will learn to read. And I know from the past experiences that there will always be firsts to come too, but somehow I find myself trying to hold on even tighter to these firsts, knowing they are coming fast and will soon have slipped away.
Yet in this sadness that sometimes grips my heart I see light too. As much as I don’t read that many books together with my daughter as I once did now that she’s reading middle grade before I even wake up most days, there are those times when she now reads to us as we drive to school together and still laugh at the jokes she tells us from the knock knock book. Instead of watching animated movies or cartoons together we now watch LEGOMasters or Running Wild with Bear Grylls as a family. There is still love, there is still time, there is still sharing experiences, but the parameters have changed. And I must learn how to embrace the new ones, to teach my children to do so, and to help bring about my own peace of mind. They say parenting isn’t for sissies, and it’s definitely not. The only constant is change, so we must learn how to embrace that.