As I write this column, fall is quickly setting in and the winds of change are blowing – at least in my world – like never before, and rocking my world.
There’s so much happening that I can’t seem to let myself grasp the magnitude of it. If I were to really sit and consider the weight of it all, I feel like it would completely blow my mind. I don’t know that I’d be able to get up and get on with it.
So, I put my head down, and just try to get through one day at a time, one task at a time. It’s a conscious, marked effort. And it’s still overwhelming.
As I write, I’m currently packing up to move from our cosy, cottage-like small house near the beach, the home I’ve loved so much. I hadn’t any choice; the move was mandatory and unwelcome. And had to be done within a fairly short timeframe.
It’s a bittersweet time, as I move through the halls, stacking boxes and reflecting on the memories our little family has shared in this home. How we made it our own, how we’ve all grown together, and most poignantly, how different our family looks now from the way we did when we first moved into the house.
Our family is smaller now. There’s been intense pain, disappointment and heartbreak in our time in this home, along with the warm, loving memories of laughter and joy. There’s been a great loss, keenly felt by everyone.
And it’s with heavy hearts that we leave this home, but at the same time, there’s a palpable feeling of healing, renewal and excitement as we contemplate our new home, which is lovely, comfortable and certain to be filled with new joyful moments – and struggles, of course.
As we move into our new home, my youngest child is set to begin Grade 1 – another significant transition of sorts. It feels as though she’s being flung, all too quickly, into official big-girl-dom, and I’m not sure I can handle it (I know I will have to).
As I purge our home of excess “stuff,” as you do when on the cusp of moving, I’m grasping her baby/toddler clothes and toys, clutching them in my hands one last time, holding them close, and for just a moment – time stands still, despite all the changes being whipped at me so fast and furiously.
Meanwhile, my middle child, my older daughter, will enter high school this fall, deep in the midst of a turbulent, difficult, tremendously emotional and rebellious period in her life. My concern and ache for her runs so deep it’s hard to formulate a coherent sentence. Or one that’s anywhere close to adequate.
And my oldest child, a fresh high school graduate, has just started his first full-time job. He’s taking that “gap year,” some time to work and reflect on his passions, goals and exactly what it is he will study when he enters post-secondary.
I’m sure many parents can relate when I write that it’s jarring to see my firstborn enter the full-time work world. Even more so to realize that he’s about to turn 18 and officially, into an adult. A grown man. The age I was when I gave birth to him.
As he matures into an adult, his own man, I know I’m entering a new parenting stage, one where my role shifts to influencer. I hope he makes good choices, and can only encourage and advise him where and as much as I can.
In many ways, I now have to step back and let go. But ensure he knows that I’m still here for him, always be. This parenting thing has proven to be a pretty tough deal. But there’s still none better.
As I wrote earlier, the changes my family is facing are profound and in many ways, unsettling. But instinctively, I know that as the changing leaves and cool temperatures mark a transition, our family’s transition, as tough as it feels at the moment, will lead us to a new, positive place of healing, love and closeness. And for now, that knowledge is enough for me.