Thursday, November 1, 2012

Change Is Good



For the past few months, I’ve been trying to prepare my kids for the upcoming changes.  A new house, a new street, new neighbors, new route to school, new piano teacher, and some new friends.  I’ve tried not to bonk them over the head with the obvious that change is hard but needed, but instead just given them little reminders from time to time that nothing is permanent.

They’ve been pretty good about my little interjections of reality. 

Change is Good You Go First - ParentUnplugged - Stacy Snyder
“Yah, Mom, I got it,” when I prompted my older daughter to give her new address when her teacher asked her where she lived during open house.  “Come look at my project”

“I already know that, Little Mama,” my younger daughter reminded me when I tried to initiate a playground conversation about how the new house will still hold the same things we own.  “Now watch me swing on the bars.”

When they did acknowledge the upcoming adjustment, the girls have been very forthcoming in their feelings about change:  It’s hard, but good. 

“I know we’re going to love our new house, but I’m really going to miss this one,” the older one said on more than one occasion leading up to our move.  “I can’t wait to move next door to Emily, but I’m sad that we’re moving further away from Rosie.”

Me too.

“I can’t wait to have a playroom, Mama!” shouted the little one, “but I don’t want to move away from the park and school where we can see Sissy come home from school every day when we look out the window.”

Ditto.

Each time a member of my family has mentioned the upcoming changes, whether positive or negative in scope, I’ve allotted the appropriate time for consideration, commiserated with the notion, then put an optimistic spin on the change.

I’ve given so many positive reinforcements that I honestly don’t even realize it when I’m doing it anymore. 

“Oh, girls, won’t it be great to be able to paint your room, as we no longer have an apartment!”

“Can you wait to have a basement that doesn’t leak and flood?”

“Just think how great it will to have room for family to stay when they visit!”

After a few weeks of repetitively listing the benefits of buying a home and moving, I came to realize that it’s not my girls who needed the convincing that change is good.  It’s me.  I was totally trying to convince myself that it was going to be okay!  The girls just want to be happy and healthy and loved.  It’s me who wants the convenience of being close to the school and resists change, even when it’s small.  After all, we moved two blocks away!

Having occupied our new home for a whopping week and a half already, I was expecting to be 100% sold on our migration.  I find, though, that I’m still weening myself off the subconscious confirmations I give myself every time a mention of new home comes up.  Instead of feeling the zen of owning our own place and basking in the awesomeness of its existence, I’m still convincing myself that change is good.

It really has nothing to do with the positive or negatives of one home versus the other.  It’s just the mere idea of change.  It’s the idea that nothing is the same anymore.  New habits have formed and old routines have been broken.  Order has been abandoned and manageable chaos has ensued.  Known responses have been replaced with unfamiliar reactions, and my dog-run familiarity with my surroundings has been usurped by this mysterious environment.

I’m being forced to learn new things about my home, my environment, and myself. I love to learn, but learning is nerve-wracking, because you can’t learn unless you come to terms with the fact that you don’t have all the answers. 

The only answer I do have is that by continuing to “comfort” my kids with my encouraging words about flux, I’m continuously reminding myself that change is good.  I wholeheartedly agree with Bruce Barton when he said, “When you are through changing, you are through.”  I’m not done yet, so I better get on with getting on!