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/