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June 18, 2010

Remembering That Ch-Ch-Ch-Change is the Only Constant

May 104 My daughter came home from Kindergarten last Thursday acting out of sorts, blue, and really, really down.

I asked her what was going on and what happened that made her feel that way.

Our Word Wall is down.  The walls in our classroom are getting empty, and we took everything out of our cubbies today.  It's not my same class, and it just. . . makes me feel funny.

Ahhhh, the ole "a new change is-a-comin' syndrome"--the same one that I still suffer from with the change of seasons, change of schedule, change of just about anything.

My daughter's teacher is retiring this year, and I'm sure that after close to 30 years teaching in the same county, she's more than ready to head out come June 16th.  And I couldn't be more happy for her--I remember feeling like I wanted to start breaking down my own classroom on June 1st so that I, too, could walk out the doors the minute my high schoolers finished their last exam. I was free as a bird but with a belly full of butterflies until my new summer schedule kicked in.  I can only imagine how my daughter's teacher must feel, walking into retirement in the next week. I wondered if my little one felt the same way, moving out of Kindergarten and into a school-free summer.

I tried to explain to my 6-year old that change is sometimes hard and that it's strange to watch something you're really familiar with move in a different direction. 

I wanted to tell her that for some, change is hard.  Really hard.  I wanted to tell her how, whether it's a cleaned-out cubby or a blank Word Wall, the move from Kindergarten to grade one, school year to summer, it can take some getting used to.  But we all move through it. We have to.

I thought about letting her know that in life, change is really the only constant, the only thing you can count on.  I wanted to explain that there are very few things--people, situations, feelings, or events--that will remain unmoved and that just when you get really settled, something will usually come along to switch up your normal.

Big changes--from high school to college, single life to married life, a family of two to a family of three, good health to illness, and the loss of loved ones--are understandably difficult and painful for many.  It could be the change from one baby two to (or three!), the addition of a pet or the move to a new house.  Or the changing seasons of friends, of relationships, of co-workers, it never mattered.  They were all difficult for me.  And usually these changes brought melancholy and moodiness until I got settled and appreciated its "newness".

I have tried to keep my kids fresh in their openness to try new things and embrace change on a frequent basis.  I have introduced something "new for us" each week, and we celebrate steps of change when we can.  We are active in our community, and we do what we can to be a part of something larger than ourselves so that we can keep things in perspective when change does come upon us suddenly. 

But sometimes it's just hard.  And sometimes, no matter how minimal the change may be, we need a little time to mourn our loss before we are able to embrace what the future holds.

So as we made our way home from school last Thursday, our last Thursday of school of the year, the last Thursday I'd ever walk with my oldest child as a Kindergartner, we did talk about how changes are sometimes hard and that it takes a while to adjust to something new. 

And then we celebrated a sunny Thursday and summer and the upcoming weekend, and we clinked our ice-pops together in a sweet cheers to the adventures that lie ahead.

This is an original DC Metro Moms post.

Amy M. is trying her best to embrace the many changes that lie ahead for her family, her summer, and for the SV Moms Group at large. She's using what she can as learning opportunities for her little ones--and herself--and she's sharing the skinny over at teach mama and we teach


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