Monday, September 29, 2008

Trying to decide whether or not to keep the change

by Karrie McAllister
I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. Maybe it’s because I see and hear the word 5,873 times a day in the political campaigns, or maybe because I’m just finally realizing how much I am surrounded by it in my daily life.
I’ve always considered myself a person who likes change. I was reassured of this when I went in for a haircut last week and told the beautician to “do whatever” and that “it was only hair, it would grow back.” She took a good five inches off of my eight inch hair, leaving me surrounded by a pile of my own clippings.
Looking in the mirror at my new self, I smiled.
“You like change, don’t you,” she said, speaking the truth.
I was reassured of how right she was when I had the sudden urge to rearrange my house. I find I do this frequently, even if it’s just moving my kitchen table (which is pretty much a square) a simple ninety degrees. I also adjust the angle of my couch for no real reason, or maybe I’ll switch the end table from one side of it to the other side. Just to shake things up. Just to keep things moving. Just to satisfy that craving for change that must make me tick.
Another reason I can tell I’m a change-lovin’ kind of girl is that I live for the seasons. I get all giddy when the weather starts to change, like when the first fall crispness hits the air and I am drawn to my kitchen to make a giant pot of soup and then put pumpkins and gourds all around my house and then pull out all of my sweaters and wool socks and grab a rake and sit outside and wait for the leaves to fall – even though it’s only early September. (Can you just hear my excitement?!?!)
But for all of the reasons I seem to welcome change in my life, there is one thing holding me back.
My kids.
They provide me with plenty of change, often more than I want.
I change their diapers when they are young. Then they grow up and change their clothes a dozen times a day. Then they grow up a little more and change their minds about dance class and a remote control dinosaur and I’ve got a drawer full of leotards and a pitiful triceratops that now sits untouched in the basement.
Not only that, but they also mature and hit milestones right before my very eyes. They are constantly changing and growing up no matter what I do. And unlike my furniture, I can’t simply move it back to the way it was.
It’s the little things mostly that really make me realize that my children are changing. My baby just started waving and eating Cheerios this week, and as happy as I am to see her make this tiny accomplishments, I know she’ll never be that babe-in-arms that only reaches out to grab my finger. My son is starting his second year of preschool and is a whiz on his bike, riding one-handed at breakneck speeds and it seems like only yesterday he was crawling onto a baby scooter. And my oldest daughter told me the other day that “actually mom, I’ve discovered in my research that…” when I’m so used to her asking me to please read her a story about fuzzy bunnies or flower fairies.
I don’t know how it all happens, but it happens fast. The change is gonna come, whether I want it or not. There’s no stopping it, although I can’t say I haven’t threatened to put bricks on their heads to keep them from growing up. They aren’t too fond of that idea.
I can hear it now. “Actually mom, I’ve discovered in my research that the placement of a heavy object atop a person’s cranium does not inhibit growth patterns in any way.”
Pbbbbt. At least I know they’ll soon be big enough to help me move the furniture.

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