From the moment you are born, time and change have you in their grip. As beautifully captured in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (ASV). If this is true–and I believe it is–constant change is a certainty of life. How you deal with this truth will dictate how much peace and happiness or anxiety and frustration you experience throughout your life.
It can be difficult to recognize that a time for change has come and even more difficult to accept or even embrace that fact. This is where your instincts, your ability to listen to your heart, or your connection with God (if your spiritual life is well fed) are critical. They will tell you–quietly at first and then more loudly if you don’t hear or accept the message–that something is…off. You may notice that in a certain area of your life, a state of constant struggle and difficulty exists. Ask yourself, “Does this mean I’m fighting life—fighting a change that should occur.” When I’m in this situation, I think back to something a wise yoga instructor shared: If you find yourself in a hole, put down the shovel. This always prompts me to consider whether I’m digging and digging when I should be 1) doing nothing or 2) actively doing something other than digging. As you grow into a man, I hope you’ll ask yourself such questions and have the courage to act on the answers you uncover.
I have known for some time that a change for our family was needed. Both you and I need more independence as well as intellectual and social stimulation. Daddy needs me to have “something else to focus on” so that I will stop hen pecking him. Daddy also needs (and deserves) to feel less burdened with regard to supporting the family financially. Your brother, Jerrie, needs more time with you without me around as the center of your universe. And so, after searching for more than a year, I finally found a job, which began last Monday.
For me, this change meant a level of fatigue I haven’t known since you were born, blisters and sore arches from wearing high heel shoes all day, an inability to find the time or energy to exercise or eat for health, less time to play with you and watch you grow, and a sense of guilt (and gratitude) for the people who picked up my slack on the home front. That includes Grandma
- babysitting all day several days in a row,
- doing your laundry,
- making a run to Target to purchase the Pull-Ups I forget to buy,
- taking you to an unplanned visit to your pediatrician for a physical so that you could begin day care tomorrow and,
- keeping you Saturday night so that Daddy and I could go out to dinner with Tee-Tah and her husband to celebrate me going back to work, Daddy quitting smoking, and Tee-Tah completing her first marathon.
As for Daddy, he pitched in on housework, chores and cooking throughout the week even though he, too, had worked all day.
Even though it was a tough week, the change produced the results I desired. I regained a sense of independence and found myself intellectually and socially stimulated in a way I hadn’t since assuming the role of stay-at-home-mom.
For you (and for me and Grandma, for that matter), the full magnitude of this change will be felt this week when you begin day care. You will be in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people all day. I know you will be fine. Given your personality, you’ll probably be more than fine. But, I worry nonetheless. I just want you to be happy and well-cared for. And I want you to know that I love you; I hope this change doesn’t make you question that. As for Grandma, she will spend far less time with you, which makes me sad for both of you. I hope you know how much joy and purpose you have brought Grandma in the first three years of your life. Your relationship with Grandma is so special; I’m certain we’ll find ways for the two of you to continue building memories together.
If this change is difficult for you (or me or Daddy or Jerrie or Grandma), just wait. As time marches on, this change will give way to many others. That is the beauty and thrill of being alive. Embrace it, Son, and know that one thing will never change: my overwhelming love for you.
To Everything There is a Season
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.