A small constant

Change is something we move through. Like the viscocity of air to water to pea soup it can come in degrees. Some of it we cling to, some of it we don’t even notice. Sometimes we rebel.


As our school year draws to a close, with it comes changes. I don’t cling to the changes of this last year: the fact that my daughter will be starting middle school in the fall, or that my son will be alone in his elementary school. I accept and know that it will appear before we even recognize that it has happened. Some things just “are.”

Recently my son went home with a friend after school. She had spontaenously invited him home; her mom called me later to let me know where my stray lamb had ended up. It was all good and they had fun. When he got home he exclaimed that he was invited to her goodbye party. I assumed this was an end of school celebration. “No,” he corrected me, “she will be going to a new school next year.” It turns out they are moving out of the province as her dad has a new job. I was sad that this happy playmate of his was leaving. I felt the loss – the loss of their friendship, the spontaneity of their joy, their support for each other – although it didn’t affect my life at all.

A family in our neighbourhood is also moving. Our kids are friends with their kids and they play soccer together. I like the parents — they are kind, considerate, and warm people. When I heard that they were moving I was again disappointed. It would not leave a ‘hole’ in my life, but they had become familiar to me. It was a change that was unexpected and a part of me rallied against it.

My kids don’t really care one way or another. My son rattled off all the kids who’ve left the school over the 3 years he’s been there. It was like blips on a radar. I know that relations formed at this age can last forever, however these relationships are generally based on the present moment.

Sometimes we can’t change what changes. Observing myself I find my reaction to these changes are as though my kids have suffered a loss. I am sad because I think they will be sad. Yes, they will be sad, but it won’t be forever. There is always another friend to play soccer with at lunch time.

With change, I dig into a sentimental box of feelings. Not all of these feelings are true but I attach them to what I thought would always be the same, these situations that are leaving my life unexpectedly. It’s like cleaning out your kid’s closet and when you want to throw out the toy they haven’t played with in years, suddenly it’s the one they cannot be without.

I think what I am craving is consistency. Part of finding that is perhaps not expecting things to look the same, in the same place. Change will always come, yes, but the feeling can move from person or situation as quickly as I allow it.  What is constant in our lives is in the attitude we create with the world around us, regardless of what or who mirror this back to us.


*Image was taken from http://thejailbreak.com/2011/05/24/mc-escher-in-legos/


8 thoughts on “A small constant

  1. Change is always difficult, but as you mention, it’s our attitude about it that helps get us through. Focusing on the positives that will come from the change can smooth the transition. It’s been difficult for me to grasp that my youngest will start high school in the fall, but I try to focus on the fact that both my sons will now be at the same school, and the oldest can drive them. That’s a definite plus that makes me smile!

    • I think it’s harder for us to look forward than to look back. And why is it that we always remember the past so fondly, when it’s not always great? We tend to latch onto the knowns of what we liked, and then conveniently forget all that was harsh or troubling.
      That being said, watching your kids move through school can feel like it’s done at an alarming pace. My oldest is moving on to middle school and I am not quite sure how THAT happened.

  2. I know how you feel. We feel our childrens losses even if they don’t. We understand how difficult it is to create and sustain relationships. To them they come and go easily.
    When I go through the closets it is I who all of a sudden cannot toss a long forgotten toy. I have a box full of my daughter’s toy horses. She played with them every day for years. Now those years are over. I miss those years more than she does. She is 18 and roaring ahead in life. No need for childish things.

    • Thanks for your comment! I think as parents we try to prep our kids for things that haven’t happened yet — or may potentially happen but in many, many years. We feel both protective and sentimental.
      I wonder if in another 10, 20 years your daughter will also feel sentimental about her toy horses. Some people can just leave the past behind, others cling to a time they’ll never go back to. But until you get there, you never know.

  3. Not to sound like one of those spammers but…I tried to post a comment earlier but it dissapeared. When I clicked on the email notification for this post Google had to re-direct me to your blog. Did you change anything recently?
    I did enjoy your post. Felt some nostalgia for when my kids were young.

      • It is weird. The first comment dissapeared but I see it listed here now.
        I often see messages on other blogs where people say things like ‘I tried to post a message yadda yadda, yadda”. Often it is the same message verbatum on severl blogs. I think people do that so the blogger will click on their comment and give their site a hit. i guess peeople make money with this ruse somehow.

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