Change is everywhere. Nothing new, right? Then why does it seem sometimes like we are knocked down by a tidal wave when it hits? We are minding our own business, making our way through life and WHAMMO! We see it coming, we KNOW it's coming but when it hits us, instead of rolling gently over it, we lose our footing and tumble head over heels into the deep water.
I had one of those days today. I think I felt it coming the last few days and then BOOM! It hit today. I cried today. I cried over things in my life that were changing, over things that are changing. I cried for things that I'd be soon saying goodbye to. I cried for what was and what might never be.
No, I wasn't a total mess all day thankfully but I did have a few moments where it just hit. Just like the wave that catches you off guard. And it knocked me off my feet at times today.
On Thursday, I will be putting my kindergartner on the bus for the last time. I will give him a big hug, like I do every morning. I will kiss his face and tell him that I love him, just like I do every morning. I will tell him to have fun today at school as he takes those big, big steps onto the bus, just like I do every morning. The bus driver and I will exchange our "Have a good day!" smiles and waves and then I'll start my good-bye sequence with Sammy who will sit in the second seat on my side. I'll wave. I give him a "heart" with my fingers. I'll blow him kisses. He will wave to me. He will give me a "heart" back. And it all will melt my heart.
As the bus pulls up and around the corner, I will continue waving and making hearts until I see the gold disappear behind the trees. I don't care if the neighbors watch me every morning and think that I'm a goofy mom. So I wave at a bus until I can see it no longer? I'll wave and then I will get my mail and say a prayer for God to watch over my baby on his way to, at, and on his way home from school.
I remember last August when I started this ritual with my sweet Sammy. Talk about a mess! :) Sammy is our first-born son. He is and always will be my baby. He fills my life with such joy. I was a bit nervous sending him into the world...and on a big ole' school bus too! :) Yeah, yeah...I rode the bus, I endured school, we all did. :) I think it's different though when you are a parent and when you are doing it for the very first time. It's like you are sending a part of yourself away. Your heart goes on that bus and you have to trust the bus driver, the school, the teachers, the kids...you place your trust in people you've either never met or met only once to care for your child, to treat them right, to treat them with kindness and love. You have to trust. It's part of life and part of the changes that come as the years come.
Every day now since last August I've taken Sammy to meet the bus at the end of our driveway. I've watched the bus turn the corner at the opposite end of the street when it drops him off at our driveway after school. I've hugged him, held his hand and walked up with driveway with him asking about his day. Tomorrow will be the last time for this year that we will share that simple little bond as mommy and kindergartner.
I find myself already wondering about next year when he's a big first grader. Will he not want me to hug him? Will he still give me hearts out the bus window or will he be too mature, too distracted to do such loving and silly gestures to his mommy? All of these beautiful, innocent and true moments of simple childhood that may change (and will change eventually) simply due to time...due to our baby growing up. It's all part of the process, I know that. But that doesn't make it any easier when we hit these milestones. :) I'm a mommy. I will probably always feel much and I will always cry much. I love my boys. I try to celebrate and be thankful for them and for every joy they bring to my life. It's just that simple.
So, not only has Sammy's last day of kindergarten been taking me down "reflection lane", but also the fact that it's serving as a trigger of emotions and events from when he first started kindergarten. I found myself thinking back to last August of 2011. Life was different than it is now. Isn't it always? I found myself thinking about where I was last August. I know I, both Alex and I actually, were much more hopeful and optimistic about our chances to conceive again. I was more naive possibly? I don't know. I know I was still very early into my fertility treatments. We lost Jacob in October 2010 and didn't begin treatments until March or April of 2011. I hadn't yet had my crushing visit with the nurse in the top of October 2011 where I thought she was about to kick us to the curb. I had completed whatever round of treatment I was on and she said I had to stop and consult with my doctor again before continuing next cycle. I remember sitting there in the blood work chair, with my arm still resting on the cushioned rest while she leaned on the counter flipping through my paperwork. "Yeah," she had said..."Your AMH score was almost non-existent." Blah, blah, blah. She was repeating everything I had known and it felt like a sentence. Like my attempts for another child were soon to be over.
As I had written in my blog back then, it turned out I was saved from being "kicked out" because my doctor decided to go with what another doctor had suggested for me--adding the extra shots and then bumping me up to the daily shots later. But back in August, none of that had happened yet and I was still feeling very positive and hopeful at our chances for another baby. I went through each month anxiously awaiting my blood work date to test for pregnancy. I looked for every sign/symptom possible near the end of my cycle. I peed on numerous sticks. I was so innocent I guess.
Last August too I was still a few months out from Jacob's first Angelversary...and the other thing that happened to me at that same time. I know I've only alluded to it once or twice, but it was a very traumatic thing to go through. So, again, in August, life was still good. It was simple. None of the October strife had hit yet.
It's funny how facing the end of one event can pull your mind right back to when you started the event and then all of the feelings associated with those the beginning and the end of it can just throw you out of whack. I know that's what is happening to me this week. Facing Sammy's last day of school is just suddenly connecting me to all sorts of places that I had been, and so in some ways I am reliving those feelings. In other ways I am mourning what was, what I had hoped would be by now. Does that make sense?
I am also soon going to be saying farewell to a babyloss support group that I've participated actively with since day 1 almost one year ago in 2011. Now, the group is only changing addresses and I will still participate but it won't be through the same means as before. That's what I will be saying farewell too. I know, I know. It's a minor change...but still a change nonetheless. I can remember throughout the last year I could easily pull up this group on my phone, wherever I was and at whatever time of day or night. I could scroll quickly through posts. I could stop and reply and offer support. I could share a congratulations if a friend announced a rainbow pregnancy. I could add people to my prayer list. I could share a tear for a friend -- even a woman I'd never technically met -- as I read her story. It was all done so easily and quickly.
Participating in this group has helped me more than I ever thought possible. Not only did I get the support and love that I needed but I quickly found that it helped me to give back as well. I still feel drawn to these women, to my "sisters in babyloss". We share so much. I know that's why I'm still so passionate to this day about continuing to help out in the babyloss community. I have all sorts of ideas brewing in my head for additional ways to do that and hope to start cranking them out soon.
So when I found out this week that the core group I've been participating with is changing locations, it too, has kind of thrown me for a loop this week. Another wave to send me reeling into the waters. I'm hoping that the new location will still be easy to navigate and will give it a try for sure but it will strange not being able to connect with my dear friends through the way I had for almost the entire last year.
When I was in Graduate School, I loved studying change management. I found it fascinating that "change" had a model. That there was a process that we all go through when a change happens. That there are phases. We can get stuck in them. We can be in different phases at different times. We can be in different phases than other people and yet in the same situation with them. We can help each other move through the phases through different means. I loved every minute of it and especially in putting together training plans and classes to help teach others how to navigate the rough waters of change. Change management was one of my favorite classes to teach. I taught employees and managers in "Corporate America", I taught leadership students, I taught Army Officers and Enlisted, I taught Army wives and other volunteers...all the same thing--change was everywhere. And you have to be prepared for it.
And yet. Wouldn't you think then, that if I know all of this stuff supposedly (and yes, it's been a few years since my grad school days), that I would be okay with change coming my way? That I'd be ready for it always? That I'd know how to handle it? How to react to it? HAHAHA!! :) Well, you'd think that, right! :) I so wish it were true!
The truth is, I did stop and recognize it today. Even though I felt like I was in a "funk" at certain times when that wave came at me, I knew why. I knew that it was all of the change coming at me fast and furiously. It was one change right after another. It was all different and yet connected. Triggers of memories, of varying emotions were everywhere.
Unfortunately, just because I had a feeling why I wasn't in the best of moods today, that didn't mean that I could just deny it. I have to go through it just like everyone else does. I just also happen not to like it. :) If you could, wouldn't you love to be happy and carefree and joyous all day, every day? No gloom, no sadness, no worry, no frustrations, no anger...Unfortunately we won't get to experience that fully until that day when we meet our Father in Heaven...so until then we have to go through the ups and downs of life and that means facing the waves of change head on. Sometimes we can brace ourselves and jump at just the right time to coast safely over. And other times we will be knocked on our butt. Clear out of the blue. We will find ourselves saying, "What the??? I was just fine earlier...where did this come? Why did it have to hit me now?" And we might cry. And feel kind of lousy while we try to regain our footing once again.
I wrote a devotional about this very topic a few years ago. Would anyone like to see it? Hmmm...maybe I'll post that in a day or so. :) I think it was the very first devotional I ever wrote and it was after our family attended a Vacation Bible School in San Antonio, TX. It was also based on their theme verse for the week. Yes, I think I might just share that with you all. As long as no one laughs it you think it stinks. :)
Anyway, I hope that catches you up just a bit with me. I'm still here. Still going through life. Still hoping for another baby. Still reaching out and supporting others in the blm world. Still being thankful for every blessing in my life. Still trying to find joy as often as I can. And, still finding myself tossed in the waves of change from time to time.
So, in just a few hours now I'll be ending one chapter of my life...my Sammy's first year of school. I will cry. I will take lots of pictures. I'll feel like a total sap. :) And I'll love every minute of it.
I know that we will be starting our "official summer chapter" and so that new beginning is wonderful to face. In just a few days we are heading to my mom's where the boys and I will get lots of momma/grandma hugs, where we will kick balls around my mom's farm, where we will stuff grass through the wire fencing to feed the goats and where we will listen for Chico's "hee haw" as he greets us from the pasture. We will slow down and just enjoy nature and our time with my mom and my 92-year-old grandma. I'll still be thinking, worrying and planning, I'm sure. But I hope not too much. I think I need to just "be"...so that maybe when that next wave comes, I'll be ready for it with my feet firmly on loving and supportive ground.
I have other new beginnings to look forward too...new babyloss groups are popping up to include those who wish to communicate via the old means. Through them I am already meeting new people, in addition to sharing hugs with old friends. My dance schedule will soon resume with lots of clogging at upcoming summertime festivals. I have writing ideas gnawing at me just waiting for my attention to be given to them. So yes, I'm grateful for the many new things to come.
Stay safe this summer my friends! If you are facing endings in certain areas of your life, just be prepared for the "wave of change" to hit you. If you coast over it just fine, great! Enjoy the ride and splash around if you want! But if it knocks you on your butt for awhile, just remember you aren't alone. Neither am I. God is right there to carry us through...and be sure to check out more about this by looking for my Summertime Devotional which I'll post this Saturday.
Until then, may we all face those waves of change with hope for something better on the other side...